10.27.1973 Stockholm

Much like his performances Paris and Berlin, Miles’ concerts in Stockholm were frequently documented by state-run media. While many of those European shows have been released in various iterations of the Bootleg Series, this exceptionally filmed set from Sweden’s capital city remains officially unofficial. Its grey market status aside, the film is a revelation – providing our clearest glimpse yet of the 1973 band in full flight, the often endearing interaction between the musicians, and Miles’ physical gestures and subtle cues that directed the whole affair.

Fading in on one of the band’s freshly acquired Yamaha amplifiers in the Liberation color scheme, the film captures the septet as it ambles onstage at the start of the second set (it’s unknown if the first set was filmed). Pausing long enough for Pete Cosey to load a fresh cassette into his on-stage field recorder, Miles cues “Untitled Original 730424c” and the band slips into the groove with remarkable ease. From the outset, it’s amazing how much nuance is gained here by watching the interaction between band members, notably how all eyes remain on the bandleader as they await the karate chops, finger wags, and shrugs that choreograph their next move.

As “Untitled” fades, Miles steps behind the organ to intro “Calypso Frelimo” – his organ and horn playing becoming strikingly similar in how he relies on brief, repetitive riffs, stretches the melody and wah-wahs both instruments barely recognizable. Dave Liebman (in a superb parrot print button-down) solos here as though his life depends on it, switches over to flute to take the edge off, then later runs his soprano through a Maestro phase shifter and rotating speaker for some particularly heady riffing. Miles teases “Ife” briefly on organ before leading into our first recorded “For Dave” (aka, “Mr Foster”) with, naturally, a superb Liebman showcase at the head. Slowing to a quiet crawl at Miles’ direction, the tune nearly fades into a wormhole before the rhythm section barrels into “Tune in 5” with Liebman brilliantly soloing “For Dave” overtop. Miles’ incessant cues seem to overwhelm the band a couple of minutes in as the set collapses into a brief Mtume solo and the band exits left.

Essential viewing.

Get the tape
1. Untitled Original 730424c (16:44)
2. Calypso Frelimo (21:14)
3. For Dave (Mr. Foster) (13:40)
4. Tune in 5 (4:49)

Miles Davis (trumpet, organ)
Dave Liebman (soprano, tenor, flute)
Pete Cosey (guitar, percussion)
Reggie Lucas (guitar)
Michael Henderson (electric bass)
Al Foster (drums)
Mtume (conga, percussion)