The two previous Miles Trees I’ve posted are the 1975 Tree and the Fillmore Tree. Below is the third tree, the Lost Quintet Tree. Each disc has been re-ripped at 320 KBPS and upped as two high speed archives (the first for discs 1-6, the second for discs 7-12).
With the recent rejuvenation of the old trees posts, I figured it was time to add to the pile. Sony has, with varying quality, started to supply listeners with more commercial options for Miles’ electric period. The last decade has seen a DVD release of Miles’ transitional band playing the Isle of Wight, on 8/29/70 (which fits in between the March/April Fillmore East shows covered by the Fillmore Tree, and the mid-October shows in that same set). This same show is also available on CD now, on the 2011 release Bitches Brew Live. It is oddly paired with a pure Lost Quintet show from 7/5/69, perhaps to juxtapose the two bands playing the same material.
This July 5 show immediately precedes a July 7 show from Central Park, which is featured in this tree. You can see Sony start to move outward from the Bitches Brew material that they’ve released ever since The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions. In fact, this tree doesn’t include two more shows that are being commercially released (although they’ve been common in the bootleg circuit): two sets from 7/25/69 in France (which slot nicely ahead of the October material in this tree), and one show that is included here, an 11/5/69 show in Stockholm. And, while it has made the rounds, the new Live in Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2 does throw in a bonus: just as Bitches Brew: 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edtion thew in a DVD of the 11/4/69 show (included below), the tree’s hole between the November 5th and the 9th shows is filled by a DVD release of a show from November 7th, in Berlin.
For the completists out there, then, the below set still occupies a crucial spot between the official releases. While Sony continues to sell us things we’ve paid for in taxes (state broadcasts and what not), they haven’t yet created the day-by-day log of Miles’ shows, perhaps because only bootlegs exist (in varying quality), or perhaps because they’ve chosen what they think is best. That subjective approach yielded the very strong It’s About That Time, which was this quintet (adding the, to my ears, superfluous Airto) on 3/7/70 (a day after two sets at the Fillmore East, both of which are covered in the Fillmore Tree). It has also caused Sony to release questionable edits of Fillmore shows on older electric-era discs, among other things.
So, while you know where these shows fit in, and you can understand why fans pulled these in particular, what to make of the music? The 1975 Tree is the distant future from this point, but the Fillmore Tree is quite close in time. What’s the point? Well, the Lost Quintet of Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, and Jack DeJohnette is mythical for a reason. Where the Fillmore Tree, and the commercial releases from the same period, show Miles adding to his working group, subtracting others, and moving away from rock-influenced jazz into (slightly) jazz-influenced rock, this set is one that is less a group and sound in flux as it is a group and sound rapidly blooming (and then, sadly, dissipating).
This was the last “conventional” jazz lineup that Miles would regularly tour with. Each member had some involvement in either In A Silent Way or Bitches Brew (or both). That experience allowed this particular group to quickly move from the staples of Miles’ Second Great Quintet (saved for another day) set-list to shows/improvisations based on Bitches Brew. While it lasted, this concentrated the large-group sound of Bitches Brew into a primarily acoustic quintet show. Besides surely being appealing to purists on that count alone, the results were musically stunning. While Miles had clung to radical, abstract version of modality as much of the jazz world went full on free, this music, with these players, skipped free jazz as genre convention, and hit on sounds and developments that bear striking similarity to contemporary free improvisation. Since we have almost all of the concerts and all of the studio tape at this point, it is clear that the Lost Quintet, while showing development of its own, still made some unexpected evolutionary leap past “simple” free jazz into bizarre terrain.
So, while there are commercial releases that get around the edges of this tree, and we have a nice wealth of material from the studio sessions, the In A Silent Way sessions, and from 1970 (with sporadic playing before another leap around 1972), this was the middle point in terms of working group and studio output for Miles. It also, likely, will be your favorite music of his. Period. As such, I’ve lovingly guarded these discs in a safe place and have brought them out to compress them at 320 KBPS. I’ve diligently tagged these MP3’s according to the tree information, and I’ve added my own artwork (scavenged from the internet, edited, and posted in this photo set). I’ve split the archive in two, with six sets each. The intended organization is to download each and put them into a single folder with all the art and the folder graphic intact.
This can’t stay up forever, so get it now!
Disc 1 (3/XX/69, Duffy’s Tavern, Rochester [First Set])
Disc 2 (3/XX/69, Duffy’s Tavern, Rochester [Second Set])
Disc 3 (7/7/69, Central Park, New York)
Disc 4 (10/27/69, Teatro Sistina, Rome [First Set])
Disc 5 (10/27/69, Teatro Sistina, Rome [Second Set])
Disc 6 (11/2/69, Ronnie Scott’s Club, London)
Disc 7 (11/3/69, Salle Pleyel, Paris [First Set])
Disc 8 (11/3/69, Salle Pleyel, Paris [Second Set])
Disc 9 (11/4/69, Tivoli Konsertsal, Copenhagen)
Disc 10 (11/5/69, Folkets Hus, Stockholm [First Set])
Disc 11 (11/5/69, Folkets Hus, Stockholm [Second Set])
Disc 12 (11/9/69, De Doelen, Rotterdam)
All links and artwork updated 1/10/13.
DISCS 1-6 ARCHIVE HERE (523 MB)
DISCS 7-12 ARCHIVE HERE (708 MB)