My Acid Trip with Miles

Miles at the Cafe Au Go Go, and Circle with Chick Corea at the Vanguard, on a head full of acid. After Richard Pryor opened for Miles, the music got heavy with Miles on trumpet, Gary Bartz on alto, Keith Jarrett on keyboards, Michael Henderson on bass, Jack DeJohnette on drums and Airto on percussion, the same group from Miles recording «Live Evil.»

Scott McFarland writes: «The intended follow-up to Bitches Brew was Live-Evil. The majority of this 2 LP set consists of some lengthy jams done at the Cellar Door in Washington DC (these were augmented with a few new studio recordings). The live tracks are oriented around Jack DeJohnette’s aggressive and energetic funky drumming, Keith Jarrett’s pulsing, squealing, and frequently soulful keyboards (for a guy who has since gone on to decry the popularization of electronic instruments, Jarrett could really raise some hell when he was in the mood to), Michael Henderson’s repetitive basslines (Henderson had just joined the band – his playing here is not as dead-on as it later became), guest star John McLaughlin playing some fantastic electric guitar solos, and Airto putting some funky percussion on in places. Davis and sax player Gary Bartz play (and play well), but also lay out for huge periods of time while this band grooves. This, to me, really does sound like a «fusion» of rock (and soul) and jazz. The aggression and form of rock are present, but the players still have a tendency to meander and show off in the general style of jazz players. If you are in the mood for extended jam pieces (and it seems as if in the early 70’s, everybody was), these are pretty good for the most part. The opening track, «Sivad», might burn a hole through your stereo system with its relentless funk for a while before it moves into the soulful, minimalist piece later known as «Honky Tonk». «What I Say» is a nice 21-minute slice of frenetic modality, too. Sides 3 and 4 feature a band grooving at length in a manner that has its charms, but probably isn’t the kind of thing that you’d want to start your morning with every day.

Posted on 27 de octubre de 2020

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