7.8.1973 Montreux

Propelled by a Japanese tour that saw the band more focused and exploratory than ever, the Miles Davis septet made a memorable stopover in Lebanon before storming Europe for two weeks of festivals. The brief tour resulted in no less than six tapes of varying quality, the first and highest-fidelity of which is this two-set date at the Montreux Jazz Fest – officially released in 2002 on the massive Complete Miles Davis at Montreux box. While the entire show was presumably filmed for television, only “Ife” has surfaced, though at nearly 28 minutes it carries the drama of a feature film.

With Mtume and Michael Henderson the lone survivors of the septet that Miles last brought to the continent in the fall of 1971, the music on this trip is far headier and abstract than the band’s previous visit. Judging from the crowd response here in Montreux, it was bitter medicine for those who came unprepared.

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11.7.1969 Berlin

Is this Berlin gig the best Lost Quintet performance of 1969? For my money, it’s hard to find a better representation of this band. In terms of documentation, both the broadcast recording and the concert film are outstanding. Download the set below without hesitation, and if you don’t own the DVD of the performance included in The Bootleg Series Volume 2, make time to watch it in full. Seeing the Miles Davis quintet function as a single organism, one with such unbroken focus, will leave you in awe.

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