Miles Davis - Game changer.
Miles Davis – Game changer.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Miles Davis – in concert at L’Olympia, Paris – July 11, 1973 – RFI-FIP

Legends this week. Miles Davis, along with Dave Liebman, Pete Cosey, Reggie Lucas, Michael Henderson, Al Foster and James Mtume Forman, in concert at the legendary l’Olymia in Paris, recorded on July 11, 1973 by Radio France.

A lot of Miles Davis’ live performances have been recorded and preserved over the years. And seemingly more surface every day. Whether Davis would be pleased or not to see so much off-the-cuff material preserved and studied would probably set off a lot of debate. The essence of Jazz is spontaneity, and in a live setting so much is dependent upon interaction. I’ve always been one to advocate listening to an artist live because the safety net is off and the extra added element of the energy of a live audience makes for a charged an inspiring performance. But there are those who say that listening to an artist in those conditions doesn’t put the artist in the best possible light – a studio performance is a crafted one – the painstaking care of instilling an artists vision as the artist intended is the only way to go – and that seeing a live performance is not really an accurate depiction of who the artist is and that often the conditions of a live performance are less than ideal. And those stoned crowds . . . .

But that’s why I also advocate diving into an artists studio recordings in order to get a complete picture of who the artist is and what the artist is all about. I am of the feeling you can get two distinctly different impressions of an artist by listening to their studio work as well as their concert work – and both are equally instructive.

In the case of Miles Davis – I believe a tremendous amount can be learned from listening to both. Davis was always inventing, always searching. And his live concerts could be revelations. And none of them detract from what was going on in the studio.

As much as people are on the fence about live versus studio – in the case of Miles Davis, anything he did was important – and now that he’s gone, we need all the witnesses we can get.

So, to make a long story short – crank it up and relax.

It’s Sunday after all.

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