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Miles Davis - Live-Evil CD (album) cover


Miles Davis


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.14 | 101 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This double album was released in 1971 and consists of 4 live tracks all recorded December 19,1970 at "The Cellar Door" in Washington,DC. The other 4 tracks are shorter and were recorded in the studio earlier that year with a different lineup.That lineup included Zawinul and Shorter who would then leave to form WEATHER REPORT, meanwhile Corea and Holland who are also on the studio tracks also left on their own accord and aren't on the live songs. Michael Henderson would come in to replace Holland, and Keith Jarrett would replace Corea. This would be Henderson's first work with Miles playing live. Jack DeJohnette on drums and Airto Moreira on percussion filled out this live lineup. Oh, except for a surprise guest John McLaughlin who hadn't played with this hand picked Miles band before. Of course he played with Miles countless times and fit right in like he never left. Gary Bartz would take over for Steve Grossman and Shorter on sax,playing both soprano and alto versions of that instrument.

Some interesting liner notes from Gary as well as he describes what it was like back then playing with Miles. He says "We were as intense as any Rock band i've ever heard and just as loud". He goes on to say "This was a healthy band, I had never seen Miles in better health. He was going to the gym regularly, eating a vegetarian diet, no cigarettes, alcohol or drugs. We had to be in good shape-this was demanding music...Our concerts used to last an average of two hours, non-stop".

I'm not a fan of the studio tracks to be honest except for "Medley : Gemni / Double Image". Mind you the other three studio tracks add up to less then 10 minutes so it's not a big deal.

"Sivad" is the first song on disc one and "Selim" the first tune on disc two.They spell Miles Davis backwards of course."Sivad" is an absolute funky blast. DeJohnette is just killer on the drums while Henderson does not feel out of place with his Motown funky grooves. Davis comes in just ripping it up. Amazing ! I feel like i'm being swarmed here, but in a good way. Haha. It starts to settle 3 minutes in as some piano and percussion and other sounds come and go. I like the trumpet and drum section that eventually follows. The crowd cheers after Miles stops before 9 1/2 minutes. McLaughlin takes his place as the drums continue.The guitar is intricate and complex. Piano takes over for the guitar then Miles is back as piano and drums continue. Bravo ! "Little Church" is a studio track that is laid back with some whistling believe it or not. "Medley : Gemni / Double Image" is another studio track. Some down and dirty guitar from John to open. Nice, really nice.Trumpet comes in then drums, piano and bass. This is fantstic ! By the way "Double Image" is a Zawinul composition. "What I Say" opens similar to the first track with drums and fat bass. Piano and percussion joins in. Great sound and rhythm. Trumpet after 3 minutes. Incredible sound. Guitar before 8 1/2 minutes as trumpet stops. A shred-fest from john before 11 minutes. Not worthy man. Piano then takes over. Impressive drum work after 14 minutes that turns into a solo a minute later. It kicks back in at 20 minutes. "Nem Um Talvez" is a short studio track that is mellow with sax (Grossman) and percussion.

Disc two starts with "Selim" a short studio track with laid back sax and sounds. It's pretty slow going. "Funky Tonk" opens with drums as bass piano and blasts of scorching trumpet come in. A change after 5 minutes as it settles somewhat and sax comes in. Gary is fantastic after 8 minutes and he gets a round of applause when he finishes. McLaughlin takes over, and by the 10 minute mark the guitar and drums are outstanding. It settles 14 minutes in and Miles is back 16 minutes in. A calm with piano a minute later. It kicks back in late with drums leading the way. "Inamorata and Narration" is the 26 1/2 minute closer. Nice funky start to this one. Check out Miles after 2 minutes. Alto sax after 3 1/2 minutes. Check out the sax before 7 minutes ! I like the way the drums come and go until it stays steady around 8 minutes. Guitar after 9 1/2 minutes. John ends up just wailing away and gets a round of applause when he's done. Bass takes over and keys join in as drums continue. Trumpet's back 14 1/2 minutes in. It's quite intense and then it settles after 16 1/2 minutes. It starts to build as trumpet and drums lead the way. Sax after 19 1/2 minutes. Some narration from Conrad Roberts after 23 minutes then we get a big finish.

Love the live tracks but the studio tunes drag this down some for me. Still 4 stars though for the incredible live music.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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