Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Miles Davis

Jazz Rock/Fusion

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Miles Davis Black Beauty: Live at the Fillmore West album cover
3.45 | 44 ratings | 3 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Live, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1
1. Directions (10:46)
2. Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (12:22)
3. Willie Nelson (6:23)
4. I Fall in Love Too Easily (1:35)
5. Sanctuary (4:01)
6. It's About That Time (9:59)

CD 2
1. Bitches Brew (12:53)
2. Masqualero (9:07)
3. Spanish Key/The Theme (12:14)

Total Time 77:60

Line-up / Musicians

- Miles Davis / Trumpet
- Steve Grossman / Soprano Sax
- Chick Corea / Electric Piano
- Dave Holland / Electric Bass
- Jack Dejohonette / Drums
- Airto Moreira / Percussion

Releases information

Recorded April 10, 1970

LP: Vinyl LP CBS / Sony SOPJ 39-40 (Japan)

CD: CD Legacy C2K 65138 (1997), CD Sony SRCS 9748-9 (Japan,2001)

Thanks to darkshade for the addition
and to snobb for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy MILES DAVIS Black Beauty: Live at the Fillmore West Music

MILES DAVIS Black Beauty: Live at the Fillmore West ratings distribution

(44 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MILES DAVIS Black Beauty: Live at the Fillmore West reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars I believe this album was first and foremost a Japan-only release in 77, as still today the booklet of the international remastered version has some Japanese-only text. Originally only called Black Beauty, the early version only claimed two tracks over the two discs, but the remastered version has corrected that flaw as the engineers dissected the music and installed track implementation to separate movements. In this line-up, we get Corea and Moreira (both heading soon to Return To Forever), and future permanent fixture Steve Grossman on sax, while Holland and Dejohnette hold the rhythm section, probably waiting for Jarrett to arrive in June of that year.

Recorded soon after the BB release, Miles' group already had more or less turned that page and was moving to more dissonant improvs than the studio album had let us on, but we are still far away from the lengthy improvs of the other Fillmore release in June of that year. The renditions of the BB studio tracks are definitely harder -edged, especially in "MD Runs The Voodoo Down", where the improvs are coming close to Sanders level. Returning to more faithfully-rendered, Willie Nelson and a splendid rendition of It's About That Time (from Silent Way), while Sanctuary is a welcome rest from the madness.

A bit weird, but for once Shorter is not around (replaced by Steve Grossman, the only non-BB session player of this line-up), they play two of his tunes, the first being a short version of BB's Sanctuary track and on the second disc, Masqualero with its Mexhipspanic feel, which lead right into Spanish Key. Of BB (the album) four of the six tracks are played, and one of the more dramatic sounding is BB (the track), but overall the double live album is rather pleasant and not too hard on the eardrums.

The main negative point I have with this release is that all of the tracks would've fit easily on a single disc, which makes it a real scam to sell it as a double. For the rest, I find the Fillmore West performance much better and more easily accessible than its Fillmore East equivalent two months later.

Review by Easy Money
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars It's hard to talk about this album without comparing it to Miles Live at Fillmore (Fillmore East), an album that was recorded a few months later after Keith Jarret joined the band. Both albums are based on material taken from Bitches Brew, Jack Johnson and a few other sources, but I think Live at Fillmore is the far better album. On this album, Black Beauty Live at the Fillmore West, the band still sounds like they are trying to get their individual voices to merge into a cohesive unit. Saxophonist Steve Grossman is still playing in an all-out expressionistic avant-jazz style, by the time they record Live at Fillmore he will be into the more forceful and riff driven psychedelic jazz-rock that Miles was looking for. The band as a whole is so much more in tune with each other and intuitively cohesive when they record the latter album.

This album also sounds spare without Keith Jarret, who will bring so much when he joins the band later. Chick Corea is an incredible electric pianist, but something about him and Jarret together is even more incredible. The sound of two furious highly skilled dissonant electronic keyboardists battling it out is one of Live at Fillmore's strongest points. Also, by the time they record the latter album, Corea is experimenting a lot more with his echoplex and ring modulator, which brings a lot more intensity and sonic variety to the music.

The other thing that is missing from Black Beauty is Airto, He's there, but you can't hear him. On Live at Fillmore he leads the band like a shaman/clown with various noise makers and percussion instruments and adds so much to the sound. I think on Black Beauty someone forgot to turn his microphone on.

This isn't a bad album at all. Miles, Dejohnette, Corea and company crank out that hard driving dissonant avant jazz-rock that Miles is so well known for during this period. Since Corea is by himself on keyboards, you can clearly hear all his inventive lines and chord voicings , which are hard to hear on some of Miles' more cluttered albums. But if really want to hear Miles and his cohorts really expand on the spare material provided by Bitches Brew, get the much better Live at Fillmore, also called Live at Fillmore East.

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars On a timeline of live, electric Miles Davis this April 1970 performance coincides almost exactly with the release of his watershed album "Bitches Brew", the impact of which would finally demolish the already crumbling wall separating Jazz and Rock. The newly plugged-in trumpeter had only recently begun playing larger rock arenas, as heard in the belated 2001 CD "It's About That Time", recorded one month before this show. So it's hard to imagine how an unprepared audience of San Francisco hippies, there to see The Grateful Dead, would have reacted to the controlled fury of Davis' opening act: no longer Jazz, but hardly Rock, and weird even by the far-out standards of the early 1970s.

This particular set captures his touring band in an uneasy moment of transition. The departure of saxophone ace Wayne Shorter left a conspicuous hole on stage, not completely filled by his interim replacement, Steve Grossman. The newcomer favored a busier, less-restrained blowing style better suited to the louder electronic fusions of the era, but at this gig he wasn't yet fully integrated with the band. A lot of the performance slack had to be carried by Chick Corea, who throws himself into his keyboard solos with almost reckless abandon, the distorted sound of his Fender Rhodes piano often dragging the other players into uncharted freeform territory, usually when Miles himself was offstage.

The music can be a little uneven as a result. Ditto the unpolished production, which doesn't quite capture the raw authenticity of the moment. The recording sounds curiously flat, and the arbitrary shifting of Davis' trumpet from the right to left channel is an unnecessary distraction.

I'm not sure why this particular concert needed to be released, or why it took three years to do so. Perhaps the harder approach to the prototypical fusions of "Bitches Brew" made it a more attractive package to curious Rock fans in 1973. Of course to a student of Miles Davis every turn of his mercurial career is worthy of documentation, but this show sounds like a throwaway effort designed to cash in on the unexpected crossover appeal of a Jazz aristocrat embracing his darker impulses.

Consider it as one more piece to the enigmatic puzzle that was Miles Dewey Davis...hardly revealing by itself, but filling yet another gap in a much larger musical picture.

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of MILES DAVIS "Black Beauty: Live at the Fillmore West"

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.