Miles Davis live at the Fillmore 1970 recordings are released in glorious box set by Legacy Recordings
Miles at the Fillmore – Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3
Few artists have jarred multiple genres like Miles Davis did during his fusion period. The jazz crowd was confused with his direction, but it helped him gain a new audience: the rock crowd. Miles at the Fillmore – Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3 captures Miles Davis and yet another new band on a four-night run at the Fillmore East from June 17 to the 20, 1970, while a handful of bonus tracks fill out some discs with Fillmore West tracks.
Across four discs, this set finally realizes Davis’s dream of having “every set, every note made available to the public” of these shows. A number of tracks are included on each disc. With Miles, like Hendrix, each performance is unique. “Directions,” “Bitches Brew,” “The Mask,” “It’s About That Time,” and the very short “The Theme” all vary in track length, sometimes by a full minute. Bandmates Steve Grossman, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, and Airto Moreira help deliver the message. Indeed, it’s about that time.
To listen to the shows is as challenging today as it was back then. It can often be dissonant and head-spinning, but it’s also bold and no-holds-barred. When Miles raises his horn vertically to perform, as shown in a number of photos included in the set, it’s like a middle finger to the establishment. One of the best quotes ever stated about Davis and his influence is that Davis didn’t follow jazz. It followed him.
Included in the latest bootleg series, which has won acclaim across the board, is an 18 1/2 x 13 3/4 black-and-white poster showing Davis point his regal trumpet skyward. On the back of the poster are various clippings of publications from the day—Rolling Stone, Newsweek, Village Voice—as well as a letter from CBS Records to Bill Graham of the Fillmore West outlining why Davis could be a big draw at Graham’s famed venue. This is all housed in a thick, brick-like package that unfolds into five panels showing the four CDs in vivid color, matching the album cover’s vibrant paint splashes.
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