This pair of gigs from the Juan-les-Pins Festival were two of the most heavily circulated recordings from the ‘69 quintet before their official release in 2013 as Live in Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2 (the 7.25 set was issued decades earlier in Japan as 1969 Miles – Festiva De Juan Pins). Both were recorded for radio broadcast and the 7.25 set was filmed in luscious B&W for television, and for a while they were the only recorded evidence of the lost quintet out there in the wild.
Stylistically, both sets are quite different, giving us a yin-yang view of the quintet. The 7.25 gig is arguably more straight, leaning heavily on older tunes in the middle stretch and sounding like the group we heard at Duffy’s Backstage or the Village Gate earlier that spring. The band’s surely blowing minds here, but they seem relatively reserved at their first European show.
By contrast, the following day’s gig catches the quintet at its most ornery. The tempos? Maniacal. Just observe Miles’ absurdly fast statement of the theme to start “Spanish Key”. Corea’s waging a battle of his own against a dreadfully out of tune Fender Rhodes, playfully highlighting the bum keys early in the set, then using the dissonance to his advantage in a superb freeform duo with Holland in the middle of “Miles Runs the Voodoo Down”. Perhaps the band was in a hurry to kick ass and split, because they did just that – absconding to the airport immediately after wrapping their set to resume a busy touring schedule with a gig at Rutgers University the next evening.
1. Introduction by André Francis (0:27)
2. Directions (6:06)
3. Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (9:10)
4. Milestones (13:53)
5. Footprints (11:37)
6. ‘Round Midnight (8:59)
7. It’s About That Time (9:24)
8. Sanctuary (4:15)
9. The Theme (0:53)
1. Introduction by André Francis (0:26)
2. Directions (6:18)
3. Spanish Key (10:37)
4. I Fall in Love Too Easily (2:54)
5. Masqualero (8:29)
6. Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (8:46)
7. No Blues (13:35)
8. Nefertiti (8:50)
9. Sanctuary (3:33)
10. The Theme (0:48)