Miles Davis this weekend. One of the most influential and popular Jazz artists of the 20th century, and probably one of the most well documented. Practically every live recording, session outtake or interview has been available in one form or another since the 1950s. Davis was a revolutionary, and fans couldn’t get enough of him and wanted all the evidence they could lay their hands on that Miles Davis was the real deal.
So this concert, from March 21, 1960 features Miles Davis, along with the legendary Quintet of John Coltrane, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb. Doesn’t get too much more All-star than this. All of it was preserved for posterity by ORTF (Radio France at the time) and was recently re-broadcast by their Jazz station FIP a few years ago.
Both sets from that March 21st concert are here, although this broadcast features only 8 of the 14 numbers played. Another tape, another version of this concert has been issued by various labels the past few years. All pointing out that this concert, and this tour were milestones. And that if you were a John Coltrane fan or a Wynton Kelly fan, you weren’t disappointed, as everyone turns in stellar performances.
So, no doubt fans have this, have heard this a million times and swear by it for its awesomeness. For those of you who haven’t heard it – or are just getting familiar with Miles Davis. It’s essential that you explore the live recordings. As with any artist, there are usually two sides of their careers; the studio and the live gig – both are valid, but the live setting is like working without a safety net. And sometimes little things can happen that take on new lives. And although you really can’t say you’re familiar with Miles Davis without hearing some of the magnificent studio recordings with Gil Evans, hearing him in a live setting is just as valuable.
So whether you’ve heard this concert from L’Olympia in Paris from March 21, 1960 before or not, it sounds excellent and does wonders for the spirit.
Say no more.