Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

8

Miles Davis: Legendary Concerts

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Like the curate's egg, parts of trumpeter Miles Davis' 1980s recordings and performances were excellent, and others considerably less so. The 1985 Columbia album, You're Under Arrest—of which the CD/DVD set Legendary Concerts was a partial live performance, with one important personnel change—was the strongest of the early to mid 1980s albums, on which keyboardist Robert Irving 111's heavy on the back beat groove-arrangements, first heard on The Man With The Horn (Columbia, 1981), and Davis' increasingly minimalist playing, meshed most convincingly.

Legendary Concerts was filmed at a performance in The Hague's Tuinpaviljoen in 1985 and is part of the eponymous, and outstanding, series from the North Sea Jazz festival. Longtime Davis drummer Al Foster, no fan of Irving's approach, is replaced by Vincent Wilburn Jr, an altogether more groovalicious player. Wilburn is aided and abetted by bass guitarist Darryl Jones, who joined Davis' band for Decoy (Columbia, 1984), replacing Marcus Miller. Jones is a great rock bassist (he replaced Bill Wyman in the Rolling Stones when Wyman retired in 1993), less flashy than Miller but bringing a good deal more in-the-moment passion to the proceedings. Guitarist John Scofield, saxophonist Bob Berg and percussionist Steve Thornton are retained from You're Under Arrest. Guitarist John McLaughlin, also on the studio album, has gone. It is a kicking band and, Davis aside, a young one.

The DVD, which includes two tunes not included on the CD, is also great theatre. Davis' live performances were visual events almost as much as they were musical ones and, at the Tuinpaviljoen, wearing an exuberant sci-fi meets Michael Jackson assemblage, Davis is a charismatic presence. He takes no lengthy solos, instead spending much of the time directing (and at times coercing) his band. Playing or directing, he commands the stage.

About half the performance was drawn from You're Under Arrest, with the addition of a couple of tunes from Star People (Columbia, 1983) and Decoy. In 1985, this music was not jazz as most people knew it, but it was, and remains, compelling stuff.

Track Listing: CD: Street Scene; Star People; Maze; Human Nature; Something’s On Your Mind; Time After Time; Ms Morrisine; Code MD. DVD: as CD plus: Pacific Express; Medley: Katia/Jean-Pierre/You’re Under Arrest/Then There Were None.

Personnel: CD & DVD: Miles Davis: trumpet; John Scofield: electric guitar; Darryl Jones: bass guitar; Robert Irving 111: keyboards; Bob Berg: saxophones; Steve Thornton: percussion; Vincent Wilburn Jr: drums.

Title: Legendary Concerts | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Bob City Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Caldera / Sky Islands Album Reviews
Caldera / Sky Islands
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 25, 2019
Read Baby, Please Come Home Album Reviews
Baby, Please Come Home
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Reckless Heart Album Reviews
Reckless Heart
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Fire Brigade Album Reviews
Fire Brigade
By Phillip Woolever
May 25, 2019
Read Day to Day Album Reviews
Day to Day
By Paul Naser
May 24, 2019
Read Theia Album Reviews
Theia
By Jim Worsley
May 24, 2019