Miles Davis: Four More from Brazil, 1974

50 years ago this month, the Miles Davis octet traveled to Brazil for three-night stands in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo – a stretch of gigs featuring the same personnel that recorded the Dark Magus live set at Carnegie Hall earlier that spring. While Dark Magus documented guitarist Dominique Gaumont’s incendiary first night with the band, the tapes from Brazil capture Miles’ well-oiled three-guitar lineup in full flight; Gaumont layering waves of feedback between flights of Hendrix-inspired indulgence, Pete Cosey supplying gobs of heavily modulated riffs and theatrics, and rhythm ace Reggie Lucas abandoning the steady throb of the wah-wah to solo at will.

Miles Davis :: Recorded On Stage, 1973/1974

Collected here are five selections from a private stash of stage recordings, capturing the band at the Shaboo Inn in Willimantic, CT, London’s Rainbow Theater, and a pair of dates on its extraordinary tour of Brazil in the summer of ‘74. Beyond the blistering performances featured therein, the Brazil tapes are a notable document of guitarist Dominique Gaumont’s brief time with the band – a tenure that began on March 30, 1974 (as captured on sides 3 and 4 of the Dark Magus LP) and lasted through the fall.

Miles Davis Septet :: Chateau Neuf, Oslo Norway | November 9, 1971

Funky tonk, indeed. In the fall of 1971 the Miles Davis septet embarked on a 21 date tour of Europe. Captured for broadcast on Norwegian television was the ensemble’s ascendant set at Chateau Neuf in Oslo, Norway. A high water mark of this iteration of Davis’ band, the incendiary hour-plus set runs the voodoo down and back again, with untethered performances from all involved. Edging into the beyond, Keith Jarrett appears especially possessed…

Tune In, Zone Out :: Silent Ways

Silent Ways offers an immersive submersion into the depths of “In A Silent Way.” Composed by Joe Zawinul and made famous as the title track of Miles Davis’ first all-electric LP, it’s a song that doesn’t attempt to stop time as much as it attempts control time. Speed it up, slow it down, stretch it out, turn it upside down

Sorcery in the Kingdom | A Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool Mixtape

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool—now available on Netflix after a brief theatrical run and as an American Masters feature on PBS—is a beautifully directed film by Stanley Nelson, which guides us through the different changes of Miles’ life, smoothly handling the tale of an artist who refused any complacency throughout a long and undeniably brilliant career.

Miles Davis :: In A Silent Way

In a year loaded with albums turning fifty, few have retained the genre-defying staying power and influence of In A Silent Way. Recorded during a single three-hour session in July 1969 with producer Teo Macero, the album marked a decisive and definitive turn for both Miles Davis and the future of jazz. Meditative, moody and minimal in approach, this was the calm before the storm as the following year would witness yet another reinvention of Davis with the release of Bitches Brew.