Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Miles Davis - Miles Davis at Fillmore: Live at the Fillmore East CD (album) cover


Miles Davis

Jazz Rock/Fusion

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Easy Money
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Fans of Miles' Bithches Brew might want to check out this album that sounds like Brew's angrier more aggressive amphetimine fueled half-brother. This album presents four nights of Miles' band playing more or less the same medly made up of Davis's loose themes from Brew and earlier scources, but each night is entirely different.

When Davis decided to hit the road with his Brew material, he had to reduce his huge sprawling band down to only seven members. It was the choice of band members that ended up determining the future sound and approach of these live jams. Drummer DeJohnette, bassist Holland, and keyboardist Corea had a repore with each other that would continue for many albums after they split from Davis. To his credit, organist Jarrett had also worked a lot with DeJohnette and does a great job of blending with Corea. It is often hard to tell where one's playing ends and the other's begins. In the hands of these four core musicians the loose meandering Grateful Dead inspired jams of Brew are replaced with a much more aggressive Cream/Hendrix approach to rock improv that often breaks down into avant-jazz chaos ala Coltrane, Sun Ra and Archie Shepp. Inbetween these highly charged rhythmic assaults Miles places his usual quiet tense Stochhausen inspired moments before all hell breaks loose again.

In the 70s I listened to this album constantly, but how does it hold up to today's standards. Like a lot of brilliant music from the 70s this album is a bit indulgent and overdone. Miles' trumpet screams that used to carry so much emotion back then now seem a little too obvious and lacking in subltlety. On later albums like Agharta and Big Fun Miles would find a more effective subtle approach in his attempt to play 'rock' trumpet. Still, when the rhythm section is rocking and Corea and Jarrett are laying down furious diminished scales and harsh electronically distorted chords, it is hard to think of another jazz-rock jam with this much rock aggression and avant-jazz creativity.

Each of these four performances ends with Miles coming out of the chaos to play a classic corny blues ending, his way of sarcasticly telling the world he was not going to be classified as a 'jazz musician' any longer.

Report this review (#179698)
Posted Saturday, August 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
2 stars Following BB's success, Clive Davis (the Columbia label owner) decided to record a bunch of concerts of Miles' different concert following BB's release. And quite a bit of these recordings surfaced to make their own releases: amongst them : Live - Evil (my fave), MD At Fillmore, Black Beauty, Message Of Love.. Just to name some of the legit ones. Recorded in the Fillmore East (that's NYC) on June 17th, the sets are probably among the least accessible Miles that year., made from four improvisations between 22 and 28 minutes-long, named inaptly Wednesday to Saturday miles, leading the rookie to think this was recorded over four days. But these improvs never received any names and Miles gave goofy names, even suggesting that night's technician to "call it anything". The album came as a double Lp gatefold with a centrefold of Miles lying down with his trumpet on a round bed of furs; I bet more than a few females would've paid to be on that picture.

If I said that this album was one of the least accessible , but it's maybe because of the line-up (Jarrettt, Holland and DeJohnette together n MD album), but the music is not just improvised with the odd dissonance here and there, (as it was on IASW or BB,), but now the improv are frankly dissonant and even almost reaching some free-jazz atonal improv, but not quite (it never gets to Pharoah Sanders's FJ). All four tracks have moments when they went "over the top", so it's hard to pinpoint if there is one track more accessible than the other three. For me, it's all the same, it's was that night's experimentation, and IMHO, it probably wasn't their most inspired performance. And while I fully understand why these performances were released (they represented one of the darkest side of miles' music), this MDAF is certainly not the ones I would recommend.

Report this review (#181716)
Posted Thursday, September 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars The first (of many) live albums from the newly electrified Miles Davis showed the trumpeter in peak form, only two months after the release of 'Bitches Brew' in 1970. And the sextet behind him at the Fillmore East theatre was likewise inspired to some of their best performances. But the slapdash organization of the music itself, as reflected in the fractured collage of photos spread across the original gatefold cover, was a serious miscalculation.

Blame producer Teo Macero, who tried to duplicate with these live tapes the same cut-and-paste approach employed so effectively on the 'Brew' album, and elsewhere. But the ramshackle studio sessions required the artificial assembly. The live shows certainly did not, and his arbitrary editing destroys the continuity of each performance, carefully structured on stage into continuous instrumental medleys.

On the original twin LP each side of vinyl was devoted to a separate set of the four-night gig, and titled accordingly: 'Wednesday Miles'; 'Thursday Miles', and so forth. More than half of each evening's performance was left on the cutting room floor, which might not have mattered if the remaining tapes hadn't been so mercilessly (and haphazardly) butchered. Whole songs and bits of riffing were cut and rearranged, isolating 53-seconds of 'Bitches Brew' here, and 54-seconds of 'I Fall In Love Too Easily' there.

The splices are obvious, too: little audio hiccups interrupting the natural fluidity of the playing. Multiply every sloppy revision over four LP sides (now condensed into a pair of CDs), and you can maybe share an audiophile's frustration. It's a shame, too, because any one of the four complete shows, by itself, would have made an absolutely stunning album. The longer stretches of uninterrupted jamming ('It's About That Time' on Wednesday; 'Bitches Brew' on Friday) include some of the most thrilling work by Davis in any venue, on stage or in the studio. The savage twin-keyboard attack of Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea pushes the music into very experimental territory, and the percussive allsorts of Airto Moreira add an almost comic touch at times, reinforced by the shabby vaudeville conclusion to each set.

The full gigs are available (unofficially, of course), and deserve to be heard. Let's hope they eventually find their way toward a legitimate release, in the same way that 'The Cellar Door Sessions' (2005) belatedly salvaged the likewise heavily edited 'Live-Evil' tapes [ ** ]. Until then, however, don't settle for scraps: go for the whole meal.

[ ** ] Sometimes there's magic in wishful thinking. Mere weeks after writing the above, I learned that the complete and unabridged concerts are scheduled to be released in March of 2014, as a four-CD box titled "Miles at the Fillmore - Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3"...

Report this review (#1110018)
Posted Tuesday, January 7, 2014 | Review Permalink

MILES DAVIS Miles Davis at Fillmore: Live at the Fillmore East ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of MILES DAVIS Miles Davis at Fillmore: Live at the Fillmore East

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.