Miles Davis Quintet – Live In Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2 has earned another accolade, this time from Pitchfork, which has given the new 3CD/1DVD box set a rare 9.0 rating and recognition as “Best New Reissue.” Here is part of their review:
It’s a real trove, and not just because this lineup is relatively obscure. In a very clear way, the Lost Quintet is the pivot point between the two main phases of Miles’ 40-plus-year career: the acoustic jazz idiom he inhabited, and eventually revolutionized, from the mid-’40s through the late ’60s, and the plugged-in ensembles he would lead until his death in 1991. In other words, if you’ve ever wondered exactly how the dapper jazzman of Kind of Blue morphed into a loudly attired icon in wraparound shades, this set offers some crucial clues. When we last left Miles, on The Bootleg Series, Volume 1, he was leading the world’s most advanced and telepathic acoustic jazz group (the so-called Second Great Quintet); by the time of the gigs on Live in Europe 1969, Miles was straddling the fault line.
The scope of these concerts is remarkable. You hear pieces from the yet-unrecorded Bitches Brew (“Spanish Key,” “Miles Runs the Voodoo Down”); a track from the ethereal masterpiece In a Silent Way (“It’s About That Time”), recorded that past February but not yet released; staples of the Second Great Quintet repertoire (including “Masqualero” and “Footprints,” both by Shorter, the sole holdover from that band); and themes Miles had favored since the late 50s (“Milestones,” “Round Midnight”)– all flowing together in the expertly paced suites that were Miles’ onstage trademark. But the repertoire is only half of the story; as always with Miles groups, the personnel is the thing. Like the members of the Second Great Quintet, these musicians, aside from the relatively unknown Holland, were already rising or established stars when Miles recruited them. They make for a deadly team, equally at home with low-down groove, in-the-pocket swing and feverish abstraction.
Read the complete review at Pitchfork.