The 1969 “lost quintet” (Shorter, Corea, Holland, and DeJohnette) was the pivot point on which Miles’ career would turn. Sure, the ‘70-‘72 groups were funkier and the gigantic ‘73-’75 ensembles took abstraction to its limits, but the ’69 quintet was the first and only to delicately balance the frantic bop of Miles’ pre-electric period with the heady psychedelia of Bitches Brew.
1969 was the year Miles broke free from his previous self – setting off on one of the most thrilling career stretches in modern music. Diving headfirst into the unknown, birthing entirely new genres and sending music off on side quests that are chased to this day.
So let’s start our journey here. Gig by gig/tape by tape, from February 1969 through July 1975.
Most session details are from Peter Losin’s indispensable Miles Ahead.