7.6.1970 Central Park

Miles returned to the Wollman Rink in Central Park for the 1970 Schaefer Beer Music Festival nearly a year to the day his quintet performed on the same stage. The Miles Davis septet shared the bill with the Buddy Miles Big Band for matinee and late sets at 7 and 9:30pm, and while there’s no indication of which set this audience recording captures, it’s an absolute thrill to hear this band blast a summer festival crowd with a performance so bold it borders on confrontational.

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7.7.1969 Central Park

The summer of ‘69 rolls on with a true scorcher in Central Park, just a couple of days after the Shorter-less blowout at the Newport Jazz Fest. Like that Newport gig, you can hear the band continuing to work out and refine a lot of the phrasing and touchpoints they’d use to great effect on the Bitches Brew sessions a month later. 

RARE Miles Davis & Thelonious Monk 7/7/69 NYC Schaefer Music Fest Ticket Stub!

This is also our first tape where Bitches Brew material makes up the majority of the set list, with the arrival of one of my personal favorites, “Spanish Key” – barely recognizable from its album counterpart. At this point, “Miles Runs the Voodoo Down” had been in the set for a couple of months, and it shows – the arrangement is starting to coalesce and the length is now hovering around a sturdy 10 minutes (gone are the 17-minute explorations we heard at the Blue Coronet just a couple weeks before).

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