As his health continued to deteriorate and drug dependency led to canceled tours, missed dates, and uneven gigs, Miles Davis began his retreat from the stage in the summer of 1975. Following remarkable multi-night stands in Philadelphia and Boston in May, Miles performed just a handful of dates from June through September, all of which took place in New York City. This cache of tapes from an early June, five-night stand at the Bottom Line marks the beginning of that abrupt end.
As evidenced in those tapes from Philadelphia and Boston, the Miles Davis septet remained in peak form – expanding on the heady abstract elements and telepathic interplay that came to fruition on its tour of Japan months earlier. Against all odds, Miles himself was performing with a level of vigor and engagement he hadn’t displayed in years and was writing material with a renewed focus on melody and pure beauty.
Despite a clear eye toward its next evolution, these tapes from the Bottom Line reveal the sort of schizophrenic nature of a Miles Davis gig in mid-1975. Beset by technical issues and a distracted bandleader, the first night’s sets are often messy and uneven, and though full of high points they never quite achieve liftoff. The second night’s tape captures a two-set show that’s among the most cohesive, incredible 90 minutes of electric Miles you’ll hear. A journey that remains richly dramatic through to its final notes.Continue reading “6.10-12.1975 Bottom Line”