Saturday, February 25, 2017

Miles Davis 2016 "Freedom Jazz Dance" - The Bootleg Series Vol. 5

Columbia/Legacy Recordings Released Miles Davis Quintet: Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series, Vol 5, a 3CD Set featuring 2+ Hours of Previously Unreleased Studio Recordings from 1966-1968, Newly Mixed and Mastered in High Resolution Audio

Latest Volume of Acclaimed Miles Davis Bootleg Series Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Landmark Miles Smiles Album with In-Depth Access to Full Session Reels including Rehearsals, Partial and Alternate Takes, Studio Conversation & More.

A 3CD box set collection chronicling Miles’ musical evolution in the studio from 1966-1968 working with his “second great quintet,” the latest edition in Columbia/Legacy’s acclaimed Miles Davis Bootleg Series provides an unprecedented look into the artist’s creative process, drawing on full session reels including all rehearsals, partial and alternate takes, extensive and fascinating studio conversation and more.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Miles Smiles, the groundbreaking second studio album from the Miles Davis Quintet–Miles Davis (trumpet), Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone), Herbie Hancock (piano), Ron Carter (bass) and Tony Williams (drums)–this definitive new collection includes the master takes of performances which would appear on the Miles Smiles (1967), Nefertiti (1968) and Water Babies (recorded 1967, released 1976) albums alongside more than two hours worth of previously unreleased studio recordings from original sessions produced by Teo Macero (with the exception of “Fall,” produced by Howard A. Roberts).

“Circle,” “Orbits,” “Dolores” and “Freedom Jazz Dance” were recorded at the historic Columbia 30th Street Studio in New York City on October 24, 1966. “Gingerbread Boy” and “Footprints” were recorded at the same location the following day, October 25, 1966. Full session reels – every second of music and dialogue – that were taped for the Miles Smiles album are included. Prior to this the only material ever released from the classic album were the master takes for the six songs. Never before have the full session reels for an entire Miles Columbia album been released, here providing an in-depth look at the studio process of one of jazz’s greatest bandleaders, and arguably the greatest small jazz group ever.

“Masqualero”, heard on the set in a previously unreleased alternate take, was recorded at Columbia 30th Street Studio on May 17, 1967. “Water Babies” and “Nefertiti” were recorded there on June 7, 1967. “Fall” was cut at the Columbia studio on July 19, 1967. Complete session reels for “Water Babies”, “Nefertiti” and “Fall” are included in the box.

“Country Son”, heard in a unique previously unreleased rhythm section only rehearsal, was recorded at Columbia Studio B in New York City on May 15, 1968.

Miles Davis Quintet: Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series, Vol 5 box set was produced for contemporary release by the multi Grammy Award winning team of Steve Berkowitz, Michael Cuscuna and Richard Seidel. The album was mixed from the original 4-track tapes and mastered by Grammy Award winning engineer Mark Wilder, Battery Studios, New York City, July 2016.

In addition to more than two hours of previously unreleased studio sessions, the collection includes “Blues in F (My Ding),” a rare and unique home recording featuring Miles, demonstrating on piano a new blues he was working on to Wayne Shorter.

Miles Davis Quintet: Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series, Vol 5 includes revelatory behind-the-scenes liner notes penned by Grammy Award-winning Ashley Kahn, author of Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece, as well as new interviews with Quintet members Ron Carter and Wayne Shorter.

Sourced from original four-track analog session reels and master tapes transferred and mixed in high resolution at 24-bit/192 kHz, Miles Davis Quintet: Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series, Vol 5 offers a profound and intimate look at Miles’ creative process in the studio, providing insight into the bold new musical directions Davis and members of his quintet would take as the 1960s drew to a close.

If ever a band of Miles Davis' deserved the high-intensity inspection/dissection represented by The Bootleg Series Vol. 5, it is his second great quintet. With that man with the horn as the great catalyst, the rapport between pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist/composer Wayne Shorter, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams is virtually unparalleled in the history of jazz, but to hear the machinations behind their creations here is almost as fascinating as the 'finished product' itself (liner notes rightly suggest use of headphones to hear all the spoken interludes).

One of the major revelations here is that, much more often than not, the working recordings lead to much shorter master takes, illustrations of the truism 'less is more.' The freedom of give and take, verbal as well as instrumental, between the five musicians (and often including producer Teo Macero), is completely unself-conscious, and fearless to boot: perhaps because there are no lack of ideas, there is no apprehension about cutting out parts and condensing longer performances to their essence.

Not surprisingly, one major exception to this working rule of thumb is Shorter's "Footprints." One of his most famous compositions and a regular part of the band's repertoire, unlike much of the material which would appear complete on Miles Smiles,(Columbia, 1967), Nefertiti (Columbia, 1968)and Water Babies (Columbia, 1976), the quintet offers mere sketches of the number: rather than allows itself the luxury of deep exploration of its melodic, harmonic and rhythmic possibilities—relegating that to the concert stage—Davis & co barely scratch the surface while in the studio. It's almost as if they're collectively aware there can be no definitive version.

Rather than the plethora of multiple takes of the same tunes as appear on The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions (Legacy 2003), the preponderance of studio chatter and instrumental experimentation as unreleased content may limit the attraction of Freedom Jazz Dance. Most appropriately, the title tune does benefit from the addenda as it's a cover of an Eddie Harris tune made popular in a much more accessible version at the time of theses sessions beginning in 1966. Otherwise the concept of The Bootleg Series Vol. 5 is a especially focused and rightly so: the work of this band in a live setting already covered in some detail by the inaugural entry in this archival series Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1 (Legacy, 2011) and Live at the Plugged Nickel (Legacy, 1995)

Colorfully packaged in a three-CD digi-pak, a booklet with all the pertinent recording information, in consummate detail, accompanies Ashley Kahn's informative essay; the esteemed jazz scholar provides a similarly accurate timeline of the dates and times involved in these session, besides commentary from principals Carter and Shorter. And the author's own presentation communicates the eye-opening delight he himself experienced in hearing these recordings, a sensation most all other listeners will share as well, and which, judging from the camaraderie among these great musicians, has its source in the relationship between the five players themselves.

Miles Davis Quintet: Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series, Vol 5

Disc 1
1. Freedom Jazz Dance (Session Reel)
2. Freedom Jazz Dance (Master Take)
3. Circle (Session Reel)
4. Circle (Take 5)
5. Circle (Take 6)
6. Dolores (Session Reel)
7. Dolores (Master Take)

Disc 2
1. Orbits (Session Reel)
2. Orbits (Master Take)
3. Footprints (Session Reel)
4. Footprints (Master Take)
5. Gingerbread Boy (Session Reel)
6. Gingerbread Boy (Master Take)
7. Nefertiti (Session Reel)
8. Nefertiti (Master Take)

Disc 3
1. Fall (Session Reel)
2. Fall (Master Take)
3. Water Babies (Session Reel)
4. Water Babies (Master Take)
5. Masqualero (Alt. Take 3)
6. Country Son (Trio Rehearsal)
7. Blues in F (My Ding)
8. Play Us Your Eight (Miles Speaks)

Personnel:

Miles Davis :trumpet;
Wayne Shorter: tenor saxophone;
Herbie Hancock: piano;
Ron Carter: bass;
Tony Williams: drums.

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