The beginning of fusion (although other groups such as Gary Burton's Quartet with Larry Coryell had hinted strongly at it), this set found Miles Davis for the first time really combining jazz improvising with the rhythms and power of rock. On this LP, Davis jams with an octet (which includes the magical names of tenor-saxophonist Wayne Shorter, keyboardists Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and Joe Zawinul, guitarist John McLaughlin, bassist Dave Holland, and drummer Tony Williams; all future bandleaders) on two lengthy side-long medleys. Those jazz purists with their minds closed toward electronics of any kind are advised to check out this fairly accessible date before tackling Bitches Brew. The strong solos on this early fusion classic might very well win them over.
- Scott Yanow (All Music Guide)
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Miles the dresser, Miles the boxer
Miles the bon vivant, Miles the pioneer. I use the word "pioneer" because Miles has been ever searching for new sonorities, new ways of performing his music. In essence, new directions. I would chance to say that Miles is the most written about artist in the field of jazz, and I hate the word "jazz". I prefer using the phrase " field of music." Attendance in club has always been overwhelming. People come from all over to hear the one and only Miles Davis. A creative force is always at work within him. His album are pointed to new directions for all who are interested in music. His has incorporated the best of jazz, so-called contemporary rock sounds and rhythms, a flair for the long thematic line reminiscent of the 16th-century composer, and the technique of 20th century composer using polyrhythms (many rhythms at once) and polytonalities (different chords played together)
Recorded 2/18/69 in New York City.