Miles Davis’ 20-year association as an artist at impresario George Wein’s renowned Newport Jazz Festival is a thriving tradition celebrated with the release of Miles Davis At Newport 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series Vol. 4, released 60 years to the date since Davis’ breakthrough performance at Newport in 1955. The four-CD box set is comprised of live performances by Miles’ stellar band lineups in 1955, 1958, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1973, and 1975, in Newport, Rhode Island, New York City, Berlin, and Switzerland.
Newport 1955-1975 clocks in at 296 minutes, nearly four hours of which is previously unreleased. From Miles’ debut performance at NJF in 1955 (a hastily arranged jam session featuring Thelonious Monk and Gerry Mulligan, that immediately led to the trumpeter’s Columbia signing), to his final public performance of the ’70s in 1975 (at Lincoln Center during NJF-NY, the singular “Mtume” named for Miles’ favored percussionist of that decade), the box set traces the ascendance of Miles’ music as the ne plus ultra of jazz. The full-length concert performances alone of Miles’ famed Kind of Blue sextet (with Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers, and Jimmy Cobb), and second great quintet in 1966 and 1967 (with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams) represent templates that reverberate in jazz and popular music to this day.
The box set was produced for release by the multiple GRAMMY Award®-winning trio of Richard Seidel and Michael Cuscuna; with co-producer Steve Berkowitz. Executive producers for the Miles Davis Estate were Cheryl Davis, Erin Davis and Vince Wilburn, Jr. The music was mastered by Mark Wilder and Maria Triana at Battery Studios in New York City. All original concerts were produced by George Wein.
MILES DAVIS AT NEWPORT 1955-1975: THE BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 4
(Columbia/Legacy Recordings 88875081952)
(All tracks previously unreleased, except where otherwise indicated)
CD 1: (July 17, 1955: Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, RI)
Selections: 1. Spoken Introductions by Duke Ellington and Gerry Mulligan • 2. Hackensack • 3. ’Round Midnight (previously released) • 4. Now’s The Time •
(All-Star Jam Session: Miles Davis, trumpet; Zoot Sims, tenor saxophone; Gerry Mulligan, baritone saxophone; Thelonious Monk, piano; Percy Heath, bass; Connie Kay, drums.)
(July 3, 1958: Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, RI)
Selections: 5. Spoken Introduction by Willis Conover (previously released) • 6. Ah-Leu-Cha (previously released) • 7. Straight, No Chaser (previously released) • 8. Fran-Dance (previously released) • 9. Two Bass Hit (previously released) • 10. Bye Bye Blackbird (previously released) • 11. The Theme (previously released) .
(Miles Davis, trumpet; Cannonball Adderley, alto saxophone; John Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Bill Evans, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Jimmy Cobb, drums.)
CD 2: (July 4, 1966: Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, RI)
Selections: 1. Gingerbread Boy • 2. All Blues • 3. Stella By Starlight • 4. R.J. • 5. Seven Steps To Heaven • 6. The Theme / Closing Announcement by Leonard Feather.
(July 2, 1967: Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, RI)
Selections: 7. Spoken Introduction by Del Shields • 8. Gingerbread Boy • 9. Footprints • 10. ’Round Midnight • 11. So What • 12. The Theme/Closing Announcement by Del Shields
(1966 & 1967: Miles Davis, trumpet; Wayne Shorter, tenor saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Tony Williams, drums.)
CD 3: (July 5, 1969: Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, RI)
Selections: 1. Miles Runs The Voodoo Down (previously released) • 2. Sanctuary (previously released) • 3. It’s About That Time / The Theme (previously released) .
(Miles Davis, trumpet; Chick Corea, electric piano; Dave Holland, bass; Jack DeJohnette, drums.)
(November 1, 1973: Newport Jazz Festival In Europe, Berlin)
Selections: 4. Spoken Introduction by Ronnie Scott/Band Warming Up • 5. Turnaroundphrase • 6. Tune In 5 • 7. Ife • 8. Untitled Original • 9. Tune In 5/Closing Announcement by Ronnie Scott
(Miles Davis, trumpet, organ; Dave Liebman, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute; Pete Cosey, guitar, percussion; Reggie Lucas, guitar; Michael Henderson, electric bass; Al Foster, drums; James Mtume Forman, percussion.)
(July 1, 1975: Newport Jazz Festival – NY, Avery Fisher Hall)
Selection: 10. Mtume.
(Miles Davis, trumpet, organ; Sam Morrison, tenor saxophone; Pete Cosey, guitar, percussion; Reggie Lucas, guitar; Michael Henderson, electric bass; Al Foster, drums; James Mtume Forman, percussion.)
CD 4: (October 22, 1971 : Newport Jazz Festival In Europe, Neue Stadthalle, Dietikon, Switzerland)
Selections: 1. Directions • 2. What I Say • 3. Sanctuary • 4. It’s About That Time • 5. Bitches Brew • 6. Funky Tonk • 7. Sanctuary.
(Miles Davis, trumpet; Gary Bartz, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone; Keith Jarrett, electric piano, organ; Michael Henderson, electric bass; Ndugu Leon Chancler, drums; Don Alias, percussion; James Mtume Forman, percussion.)