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Miles Davis

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Miles Davis It's About that Time: Live at the Fillmore East, March 7, 1970 album cover
4.09 | 19 ratings | 2 reviews | 37% 5 stars

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Live, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1
1. Directions (8:44)
2. Spanish Key (11:16)
3. Masqualero (9:57)
4. It's About That Time/The Theme (14:03)

CD 2
1. Directions (10:14)
2. Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (7:40)
3. Bitches Brew (8:02)
4. Spanish Key (8:33)
5. It's About That Time/Willie Nelson (11:42)

Total Time 88:51

Line-up / Musicians

- Miles Davis / Trumpet
- Wayne Shorter / Tenor and Soprano Saxophone
- Chick Corea / Fender Rhodes electric piano
- Dave Holland / Acoustic and electric bass
- Jack DeJohnette / Drums
- Airto Moreira: Percussion

Thanks to darkshade for the addition
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MILES DAVIS It's About that Time: Live at the Fillmore East, March 7, 1970 ratings distribution

(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(37%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(58%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MILES DAVIS It's About that Time: Live at the Fillmore East, March 7, 1970 reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Neu!mann
4 stars The late appearance of this historic document after more than three decades in bootleg limbo is proof that good things come to those who wait. Beyond that, the twin-CD offers a rare opportunity to hear the legendary Lost Quintet, so called because they never made a studio recording, hardly surprising during such an intense period of creative activity for the suddenly galvanized trumpeter.

We've seen lots of archival recordings of live electric Miles Davis over the years, but this one claims special significance. According to the CD booklet it marked the first time the erstwhile Jazz pioneer played in a rock arena, in this case opening a triple bill that included Steve Miller and Neil Young. The material here bears little relation to the likewise-titled "Live at the Fillmore East" double-disc, recorded three months later with a different line-up and heavily edited in post-production (to the dismay of many fans). Instead, this package includes a complete and unexpurgated performance, with one full set per disc, in total adding up to a somewhat paltry 89-minutes but preserving the integrity of a full evening's concert.

The music itself is the purest sort of Fusion, melding the freedom of Jazz to the F^ck You attitude of Rock, at times even approaching the scorched-earth intensity of "Agharta" or "Dark Magus" (minus only the electric guitars).There is, of course, some overlap in content between the two discs. But because the music was largely improvised, there are enough differences to make them each unique.

The concert opens with all guns blazing, and no shortage of ammo. Besides the angry scythe of Davis' trumpet, the primary weapon is Chick Corea's distorted electric piano, ring modulators and echoplex set to maximum overdrive. "Directions" fades in like rush hour in mid-town Manhattan, with Corea's Fender Rhodes sounding like an angry cab driver stabbing his horn to warn sleepwalking pedestrians off the pavement. The restless ostinato of Dave Holland's bass guitar might have been hypnotic if it wasn't so tense, and Airto's quacking percussion adds a typically weird flourish (his presence turns The Lost Quintet into a sextet, but never mind).

The music shares obvious DNA with the seminal "Bitches Brew" album, already recorded but not yet unleashed upon an unsuspecting public. But in concert the same material was even more raw and uncompromising. Compare the urgent, almost angry momentum of "Spanish Key" on Disc One to its more upbeat studio cousin. Later in the same set, "It's About That Time" borrows the soothing fusions of the "In a Silent Way" album and injects them with enough steroids to embarrass Jose Canseco, transforming a gentle melody into an almost unrecognizable fury of free-form noise. And when someone (Airto again, I'm guessing) blows a whistle during the reprise of "Directions" on Disc Two, he's like a frustrated cop trying to flag down a runaway lorry.

Ironically, it's "Bitches Brew" itself in the second set that fails to ignite. The abbreviated live version misses the production values and deft editing of Teo Macero's epic studio hybrid, plus the depth of the performance roster. Set two in general is a little more fatigued than the explosive opening performance, but the shift in musical energy pulls it at times in an interesting direction.

Miles Davis was 44-years old at the time of this gig: a geriatric by rock 'n' roll standards (Neil Young, by comparison, was twenty years his junior). And yet he proceeded to incinerate the stage and stun the hippies in the Fillmore East audience. A generation later, you can still smell the smoke.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars When it comes to posthumous live releases by Zappa, Davis and SOFT MACHINE it's difficult to know what to get and what to pass on because the releases just keep on coming. This particular live album features Miles Davis and his band in unfamiliar territory as they were playing for the first time at a Rock festival which took place at the Fillmore East in March of 1970. This was also the first time that a Ring Modulator was used by Davis and his band in a concert. This gave the piano a powerful sound and certainly Chick Corea really stands out here. Check out the lineup with Miles Davis on trumpet, Chick Corea on electric piano, Wayne Shorter on sax, Dave Holland on bass, Jack DeJohnette on drums and Airto Moreira on percussion. One of the attractions of this particular concert recording is that this quintet never made a studio album together and this lineup is often called the "Lost Quintet". Add to that the fact that only bootlegs of this lineup playing live were only previously available makes this a must have. This would be the last of Miles' three great quintets. Wayne Shorter would soon leave after this to join his buddy and former Miles Davis bandmate Joe Zawinal to form WEATHER REPORT. Also I should note that there's a lot of material here is from "Bitches Brew" which was just a month away from being released upon the population at large.

This is a two disc affair with each disc representing one of the two sets they played that day. Love how "Directions" opens with the crowd cheering as this runaway train comes plowing through, slowly building in speed. There's so much going on here. I can only imagine what the people in the audience must have thought. This was not normal Jazz by any stretch of the imagination, and these guys were kicking ass. "Spanish Key" continues the onslaught, man this gets down-right insane. Amazing ! "Masqualero" continues with everyone playing like they are on fire. Just to pick out one guy and to focus on him is so intense no matter who you choose. The first set ends with "It's About That Time/The Theme" which actually opens quietly which is maybe why the crowd cheers at the start(haha). This is laid back and intricate as sounds come and go. It doesn't stay this way for long though.

Disc two opens with some feedback and deep sounds and this version of "Directions" is much less "out there" than on the first set but it's building in intensity. Man I love this, in fact disc two is my favourite of the two. "Miles Runs The Voodoo Down" almost seems normal at first as the crowd can be heard cheering. Nice bass work 2 1/2 minutes in. "Bitches Brew" is a slow moving beast to say the least. Again i'm just so impressed with all that's going on here. DeJohnette is all over this but then they all seem to be in what sounds like organized chaos. "Spanish Key" also like "Directions" doesn't seem as "out there" as the version on the first set. I love when this gets going. "It's About That Time/Willie Nelson" opens rather pleasantly with some actual space to breathe. It starts to pickup before 2 minutes and getting fuller as well. This is great !

Easily 4 stars and a must for Miles Davis fans out there. I'm going to get some mileage out of this one.

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