Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

573

Miles Davis: Live at Fillmore East (March 7, 1970): It's About That Time

By

Sign in to view read count
The crowd at the Fillmore East may have been puzzled after trumpeter Miles Davis finished his sets at the New York concert hall in March 1970. At the time, the audience was hearing something revolutionary and controversial pumping out of the loudspeakers.

Little did they know that Davis was about to unleash the electric jazz/rock album Bitches Brew onto the public a month later, causing a rift in the jazz community. Thirty-one years later, Columbia/Legacy Jazz has unearthed two of those sets from the quintet's performance to bring Live at Fillmore East (March 7, 1970): It's About That Time.

Davis' group for those sets — Wayne Shorter on soprano and tenor saxophones, Chick Corea on Fender Rhodes electric piano, Dave Holland on acoustic and electric bass, Jack DeJohnette on drums — had been dubbed "the lost quintet" because no studio recordings had been released with this lineup. (It's really a sextet with the addition of Airto Moreira on percussion, but liner notes writer James Issacs says it's "a mere technicality." Percussionists never get a fair deal.)

The best way to describe the sets are free-for-alls. DeJohnette and Holland are constantly rumbling under Corea's keyboard work, who's underplaying Davis' or Shorter's maddening squeals and trips up and down the scales on songs like "Directions" and "Spanish Key."

The band's improvisation skills are astonishing, considering that at times everyone's soloing on top of each other. A closer listen reveals that Davis, Shorter and Corea are playing the syncopated solos associated with jazz, while DeJohnette lays down a monster rock-laced groove behind them.

Live at Fillmore East is as it happened, with no tape edits, unlike the rest of the live albums during Davis' electric period. If you're not observant on the CD player display, you won't know when the next song begins, because the group doesn't pause between numbers, creating a glorified 45-minute medley.

But this live double album does have something in common with its studio counterparts: it isn't meant to be listened to in one sitting. Even with the small number of personnel, Davis and company have so many musical ideas bouncing around, one may not be able to soak it all in at once.

After a while, once the ears begin to isolate the parts, one discovers that Davis' group was pushing the limits of musical ideas and succeeding. This is an amazing, rare glimpse into Davis' electric journey, and like the title says, it's about that time.

Reprinted with permission from The Villages Daily Sun, Lady Lake, Fla.

Track Listing: Disc 1: Directions; Spanish Key; Masquelero; It's About That Time/The Theme; Disc 2: Directions; Miles Runs the Voodoo Down; Bitches Brew; Spanish Key; It's About That Time/Willie Nelson

Personnel: Miles Davis: trumpet; Wayne Shorter: soprano and tenor saxophones; Chick Corea: Fender Rhodes electric piano; Dave Holland: acoustic and electric bass; Jack DeJohnette: drums; Airto Moreira: percussion

Title: Live at Fillmore East (March 7, 1970): It's About That Time | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Columbia Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read The Influencing Machine CD/LP/Track Review The Influencing Machine
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "Alom Mola" CD/LP/Track Review Alom Mola
by John Eyles
Published: May 10, 2017
Read "Happiness!" CD/LP/Track Review Happiness!
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 3, 2017
Read "The Spirit Of Trane" CD/LP/Track Review The Spirit Of Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 4, 2017
Read "Discussions" CD/LP/Track Review Discussions
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2017
Read "Morphogenesis" CD/LP/Track Review Morphogenesis
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "New Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review New Helsinki
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 8, 2017