7.27.1969 Rutgers

By the time the quintet took the stage in New Brunswick, they were on their third gig in three days with more than 3,000 miles of travel in between. As evidenced by this brief audience tape of an incomplete set, our heroes remained undaunted.

Perhaps his Fender Rhodes was in the shop after giving him trouble in Antibes, but Corea is on acoustic piano throughout the recording, giving “Miles Runs the Voodoo Down” a slightly more toned down reading than we’ve heard thus far. Without the wild ring modulation effect on the electric piano we’d hear from him in 1970, Corea’s able to make the switch quite gracefully here.

Shorter’s having a particularly great night, as evidenced by his incredible extended solo on “Masqualero”. The man seems to bend these three minutes to his will, leading the band down more than a few wild side roads on which they’re clearly thrilled to travel. One of the left-field highlights of the year.

Though their schedule continued with another run at the Village Gate (July 29-August 10) and a few more festival gigs, this is the final tape of the quintet before they’d head into the studio to record Bitches Brew in mid August. Amazingly enough, In a Silent Way hadn’t even been released at this point – arriving three days after this show.

Get the audience tape

1. Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (9:31)
2. Masqualero (10:06)
3. The Theme (0:14)