Miles Davis led several seminal groups in jazz history. Although the 1960s quintet with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams gets the most props, the group preceding that influential ensemble featured John Coltrane, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb, who had been playing together since Kind of Blue and were touring regularly throughout Europe. On March 23, Columbia/Legacy will release Volume 6 in its Miles Davis Bootleg Series with The Final Tour featuring that equally influential group in performances in Paris, Stockholm and Copenhagen in 1960, as part of the Jazz at the Philharmonic Tour.
The four-CD set, also available digitally, was produced by Steve Berkowitz, Michael Cuscuna and Richard Seidel, and was mastered by engineer Mark Wilder. The set is authorized for official release by the Miles Davis Estate, the John Coltrane Estate and Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings. Longtime JT contributor Ashley Kahn did the liner notes.
In those notes, Kahn writes about the tour that begat this set: “Much happened on that 1960 tour onstage and off, including powerful, emotionally charged performances in which one can hear the swinging, divergent energy of a band, and the unfiltered reactions of the European audiences: the crowd responses are indeed an inherent part of these historic performances. The common judgment on this music is that it represents a great jazz ensemble audibly straining to hold itself together … An equally convincing interpretation of the 1960 situation is that Miles and his quintet were redefining what a great band could sound like, and how much music it could contain—at one time, in one concert, even in one tune. It’s not that the bandmembers were so much apart, but rather that each were more themselves within the same unit—that divergence could co-exist and make music together.”
Among the tunes performed are many of the most well-known in Davis’ repertoire, including “‘Round Midnight,” “Bye Bye Blackbird,” “On Green Dolphin Street,” “Walkin’,” “All of You,” “Oleo,” “So What” and “All Blues.” The set ends with a rare audio interview with Coltrane by Swedish radio host Carl-Erik Lindgren.
Bootleg recordings of these concerts have been circulating in the jazz community for many years, and this volume joins the other five volumes of the Miles Davis Bootleg Series, as follows:
Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1 (released September 2011)
Miles Davis Quintet – Live in Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2 (released January 2013)
Miles at the Fillmore – Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3 (released March 2014)
Miles Davis at Newport 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series Vol. 4 (released March 2015)
Miles Davis Quintet: Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 5 (released October 2016)
In addition, for the vinyl jazz junkies, there will be special limited-edition LPs from the set, including The Final Tour: Copenhagen, March 24, 1960 as a single 12-inch vinyl album, as well as a two-LP 12-inch vinyl edition of Miles Davis & John Coltrane – The Final Tour: Paris, March 21, 1960 that will be reissued exclusively through Vinyl Me, Please, as part of a special subscription series.