08/15/02

Miles' Last Word Cancelled; Montreux Fills Gap

Maybe it's not the last word on Miles Davis after all: Warner Bros. has canceled the release of the four-CD box set The Last Word: The Warner Bros. Years, which was being issued via Rhino.

The lavish box set was supposed to feature all of the trumpeter's Warner Bros. albums—1986's Tutu, 1987's Music From "Siesta" and 1989's Amandla—plus previously unreleased studio and live recordings, guest spots and soundtrack work recorded between late 1985 and 1991. The three heretofore unreleased Miles and Prince collaborations, "Jailbait," "Penetration" and "Can I Play With U?" once rumored to be in the collection were not to be part of the final box set because the Artist refused to clear them for release.

There's no specific word as to why the set was cancelled, but Rhino's Dave Dorn told Ice magazine, "Due to developing circumstances beyond our control, we felt that this box set would not, in its finished form, meet our standards, or the standards our customers expect from our products."

The oft-delayed box set, which was to be initially released a year ago, has not been rescheduled.

If you are feeling sad about missing out on all that '80s Miles material, don't get your turquoise sweatpants in a bundle: Columbia/Legacy has licensed Warner Music Switzerland's limited-edition 20-CD box set The Complete Miles Davis at Montreux 1973-1991. There are about a hundred versions of "Time After Time" and other staples of Davis' '80s band, which makes up the bulk of the set, as well as a more kickin' date from 1973 with his hard-edged electric band.

The Montreux box hits stores September 17.

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