11.5.1969 Stockholm

The inclusion of this Stockholm gig on The Bootleg Series Volume 2 is one of the more curious entries in the Miles Davis official live canon. The curiosity being why Columbia Legacy chose this show out of the many others recorded on this tour.

The band played 2 sets on this date, the first of which begins with Corea grappling with a screeching, howling, very obviously malfunctioning Fender Rhodes. A few minutes into the set, the keyboardist throws in the towel, leaving us with a piano-less “Bitches Brew” and a rare opportunity for Miles and Shorter to occupy the sonic real estate typically filled with some of the wildest playing of the set. Corea returns on acoustic piano for the last third of the tune, and remains on the instrument for the duration of the early set. Mercifully, Miles directs the remainder of the show toward his earlier, pre-electric material better suited for the acoustic lineup. A fine set, but a really peculiar, non-representative choice for official release.

Stranger still, is that the second set absolutely kills – just blows the first set away. The Rhodes is back in action and the band is clearly determined to make up for lost time. “Directions” smokes right out of the gate, thanks in large part to Shorter stepping up with a strong, abstract solo. “Bitches Brew” is a thing to behold, with DeJohnette delivering an extremely knotty groove throughout and pushing the band forward over waves of sublime intensity – his playing behind Shorter is pure Coltrane/Ali Interstellar Space. The pivot to “This” is near flawless, and “It’s About that Time” is among the best moments the tour, particularly Miles’ solo atop the intricate, menacing intensity of Corea, Holland, DeJohnette. An exceptional set from the quintet, and one that cuts off abruptly before its finale. Just our luck.

Get the tape

First concert

  1. Introduction (0:31)
  2. Bitches Brew (14:16)
  3. Paraphernalia (9:20)
  4. Nefertiti (10:06)
  5. Masqualero (8:08)

Second concert

  1. Directions (8:53)
  2. Bitches Brew (15:49)
  3. This (6:31)
  4. It’s About that Time (12:29)
  5. No Blues – incomplete (3:17)