Music

Miles At The Fillmore—Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3; rel. 2014

Courtesy of milesdavis.com
Courtesy of milesdavis.com
Fillmore East, that is. Miles Davis rock and roll, and/or call it what
you will. June 1970 with a few dashes of April 1970 but the only vital
differences are Keith Jarrett coming on board with organ for June,
plus percussionist Airto Moreira adding his flute and wacky vocal
hinjinx. Moreira’s probably responsible for all the
animal/aviary/animus noises ascribable to no particular instrument,
though without a visual (no DVD this time around), you do have to use
your imagination.

Drummer Jack DeJohnette offhandedly out-relevants most rock drummers
by sounding like three or four of them all at once, telling one
simmering story through his snare and toms, letting it all out like a
riot through his cymbals. Jarrett’s organ and Chick Corea’s electric
piano, one in each channel, switch off between ice spikes and surging
lava rivers. Bassist Dave Holland sticks close to DeJohnette for a
rhythmic center but occasionally saunters off into his own forest.

Saxophonist Steve Grossman is no Wayne Shorter, but he makes enough
sense. And the leader himself, warmed up (inwardly at least) from In
A Silent Way
, tears it up into screech-of-sound runs recalling his old
sideman John Coltrane. He’ll cool down over patches, send a signal
for half-time, double-time, or the odd New Orleans strut — but overall,
however, Miles leads while the others swarm around the same shape. More
than ever, this is hive collective jamming. Miles may be the queen
bee, but he shares the sweet stuff. And nobody’s afraid to go to
work.