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Miles Davis - Live-Evil CD (album) cover


Miles Davis


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.17 | 110 ratings

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4 stars The title of this album predates the Sabbath one by over a decade. Technically a 'live' album, some of this was recorded in the studio. Generally the shorter tracks are pure studio whereas the longer tracks are mostly live with some studio parts thrown in. Due to this the line-up of musicians is numerous and confusing. You have Zawinul, Shorter, Cobham, Hancock and Corea before they went to do their own things. McLaughlin is here too but mainly as a session musician. You also get Brazilian jazz percussionist Airto Moreira and keyboardist Keith Jarrett, here using modified electric pianos and organs. In the not so distant future he would swear off using any electric keyboards at all.

Three of the pieces here were written by guest Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal, who also appears on those same tracks. This album features one of my favourite front covers of all time. Such a great piece of art. On the reverse is the opposite of the front which represents beauty: a fat ugly blond demon b*tch. Let's talk about the actual music itself shall we... Generally the mood here is funky and rockin' with lots of modified and altered electric pianos. Occasionally it mellows out and gets chamber-like with no percussion. It's hard to compare this to any other Davis album (studio or live), but it is similar stylistically to both Bitches Brew and A Tribute To Jack Johnson.

"Sivad" begins in funky jam rock territory. Things get cacophonous and noisy before mellowing out and calming down. Just after 4 minutes is an edit where it switches to a studio recording. This part is a slow moving vamp with some soloing over it. After 9 minutes another edit (the clapping gives it away) where the group is playing the exact same vamp at the exact same tempo! "Little Church" is avant-garde orchestral jazz with no drums. "Medley: Gemini/Double Image" starts out in blues-rock territory, not very far from early Zeppelin actually. Gets more dissonant and avant-jazzy.

"What I Say" begins with a terrific funky drumbeat, repetative bassline and melodic electric piano. Nice cowbell. Later the tempo picks up and Miles solos away. After some intense jamming McLaughlin starts to do a great solo. Later on what sounds like a flute solo. Then some electric piano soloing and a long, unaccompanied drum solo. The poor bass player doesn't get to solo but his bassline holds the whole piece together anyway. "Nem Um Talvez" is more avant-garde orchestral jazz similar to "Little Church."

"Selim" is yet more of the same which includes barely audible singing on all three tracks. "Funky Tonk" as you may have guessed, is on the funkier end of things. Some interesting complex drumming here. Nice dreamlike electric piano at one point. Things calm down and get less hectic during the sax solo. A type of repeated melody is played as the guitar solos. The guitar continues to solo away as all the other instruments start to get loose and improvised. During this part you hear some guy moaning or something. Another apparent edit leads to some very avant and dissonant playing from all involved.

The electric piano in particular is pretty crazy sounding. The bass player gets a chance to solo here, albeit a strange solo. Electric piano is the focus for awhile. Another electric piano or organ gets very rhythmic at times. Goes back to being funky at the end. "Inamorata and Narration" is probably the most avant-garde piece here. It starts off in funky jazz-rock mode with Miles soloing on his wah-wahed trumpet. The music gets looser and more improvised as it goes along. Another weird bass solo. Electric piano and percussion work around the bass as Miles enters again. Around 10 1/2 minutes is an edit to the studio.

The music is now some kind of slow-paced spacey avant-jazz-rock. More soloing from Miles. Good sax solo. After 23 minutes another edit. Now Conrad Roberts does narration as the band plays in the background with a wide stereo seperation. The narration is similar to what George Clinton would do on some later Funkadelic albums, which were influenced by electric Miles. One of Miles' better live albums with a great cover and a great title. Deserves 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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