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Miles Davis - In Concert: Live at Philharmonic Hall CD (album) cover


Miles Davis


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.28 | 36 ratings

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Easy Money
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars This is one very strange album, and is definitely not recommended for people who are looking for their first Miles Davis purchase. The band on here is pretty much one band member away from the brilliant group that would record the phenomenal live Agharta album, but since that missing member is the unbelievable pyrotechnical guitarist Pete Cosey, that missing member might as well be half the band. There is so much working against Miles on here, out of tune instruments, sub-par musicianship, bad sound quality on the keyboards and guitars, horrible recording quality and a horrendous sound mix that favors incidental percussion over soloists.

Fortunately the style of music on here is strange and raw enough that all the previously mentioned negative factors don't hurt as much as it would on some sort of pretty or technically precise music. This album has something in common with King Crimson's Earthbound or The Velvet Underground when John Cale was in the band, in that the primitive sound may actually add something to this album's quirky appeal. The music on here is based a lot around the strange avant-African jams that Miles had put out on albums like On the Corner, Big Fun and Get Up With It. In this music the percussionists build up thick poly- rhythms while the other instruments add to the rhythm or add short solo snippets. This is a very psychedelic album, but it is a trashy out of tune psychedelia that sounds like it was recorded on a portable 8-track ghetto blaster. Occasionally the band breaks into walking blues jams that break the monotony of the static disjointed African rhythms.

Although Miles is usually happy to share solo time with other band members, on this album he takes nearly four fifths of the solos for himself. His solos on here are not typical and it sounds more like he is using the trumpet as a rhythm instrument, plus his tone is small, choked, distorted and constantly run through a wah wah pedal. When he is not soloing, Miles can be heard playing very prominent distorted and dissonant chords on a Yamaha organ. All of this busy and up-front playing makes it sound like he has become frustrated with this band's weaknesses and limitations and he is trying to carry the band himself. This is hardly the best album by Davis, but I can enjoy it's strange uniqueness in small doses. By the way, if you do get this album, get it on vinyl, the caricatures both inside and outside the album cover are priceless.

Easy Money | 2/5 |


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