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Miles Davis: Black Beauty: Miles Davis At Fillmore West

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No question, Miles Davis is one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. For over decades, from his birthing of “cool” jazz through his groundbreaking works with Gil Evans, to his ’60s quintet, to his ’80s-’90s pop/go-go/hip hop final phase, Miles was a colossus; always vital and more than a little ahead of his peers. No stranger to controversy, Miles endured the most flack from fans and critics alike for his jazz-rock explorations during the ’70s-his so-called “lost” period.

Scrapping his quintet in late ’68, Miles was out to create a new band that rocked like Hendrix, partied like Sly and funked like James Brown. 1969’s Bitches Brew would be the key and live sets would be the opened door to a new mansion of audio constructs. Thanks to the timely reissue of five live recordings-Black Beauty, Live-Evil, At Fillmore, Live In Concert and Dark Magus-his transition from the standard jazz paradigm (which he set) of structured tunes, solos, instrumentation and time limitations to a revolutionary, free-form construct of rock dynamics, Afro-Asian tonal rhythms, space/time conundrums and continuums, electrified atmospherics and elastic, blue-black funk can now be fully appreciated.

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