Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Complete Concert 1964: My Funny Valentine + Four and More
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
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It's Very Good, But Buy One of the New, Improved Versions
Buddy Bolden | USA | 09/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The title notwithstanding, this is not in fact the "complete" concert; it's missing "Autumn Leaves." Additionally, the tracks are not sequenced as they were actually played, but as they appeared on the two original LP releases, "My Funny Valentine" and "Four and More." This is unfortunate, because while the actual concert was well paced, with a nicely varied mix of different tempos and song forms, in producing the LPs Columbia elected to put almost all of the ballads on "My Funny Valentine" (disc one here) and almost all of the up-tempo numbers on "Four and More" (disc two). To my ears, the homogenization that this arrangement entails dilutes the impact of the music somewhat.
The new version of this concert that appears as part of the seven-CD boxed set, "Seven Steps," (released in September 2004) includes "Autumn Leaves," sequences the songs in the order in which they were performed, and has been remastered to improve the sound. Unfortunately, while Sony is now preparing separate reissues of the individual albums that make up the "Seven Steps" boxed set, it appears that there are no immediate plans to issue an updated version of "The Complete Concert"; instead, they are releasing remastered editions of the original single albums, "My Funny Valentine" and "Four and More."
Therefore, the best way to hear this music would be 1) to buy the "Seven Steps" boxed set, assuming you can afford it and are interested in the other material it includes; or 2) get the new, remastered versions of the "My Funny Valentine" and "Four and More" albums.
For those who don't have the box set and would like to listen to an approximation of the concert as it was actually played, you can program your CD player to play the tracks in the following order: "Intro by Mort Fega," "So What," "Stella by Starlight," "Walkin'," "All of You," "Go-Go (Theme and Announcement)," "All Blues," "My Funny Valentine," "Joshua," "I Thought About You," "Four," "Seven Steps to Heaven," "There is No Greater Love," "Go-Go (Theme and Re-introduction).""
IF NOT HERE--MAYBE YOU NEVER WILL.
Crabby Apple Mick Lee | INDIANAPOLIS, IN USA | 11/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderful album and has to rank as one of the most extraordinary "live" recordings of its time. Most "live" recordings in the 1960's sounded like the microphone was stuffed in a shoebox and sitting on the other side of a lake from the band. But it appears that the engineers at Columbia came up with a microphone arrangement that really worked-at least for acoustic jazz.
Part of the context that is lost (and the liner notes makes no mention of it) is that these performances take place just a few months after President John Kennedy was assassinated. The shock and grief that followed the killing plunged the whole nation into a dark sadness that carried through the Christmas holidays and New Year's. By the time Miles and company took the stage at the Lincoln Center the country was more than ready to shed its funereal clothes to live life again. (This is also the context from which the Beatles burst into American imaginations from their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.) The audience was eager to grasp the joy of life and Miles fed off his audience to play beyond his usual high standards.
The first disc features the slower, bluesier numbers while the second disc has the faster and more exciting tunes. Several critics have complained that Mils actual concert was not so divided and was actually more varied and mixed up. If that concerns you, there are plenty of sites on the Internet that can advise you of the proper sequencing of all the selections on this CD set. Speaking for myself, I am quite pleased with the arrangement of all the pieces as they are on THE COMPLETE CONCERT 1964.
Not enough credit can be given to a young Tony Williams to set the character of these performances as he drives the drums with exceptional excellence. Herbie Hancock shows that he could put on quite a show without all the electronic "gee-wiz" he came to love latter. Ron Carter more than kept up with his able bass (the CD edition keeps his presence sweet and audible-he was practically a ghost employee on LP editions.) George Coleman plays the best saxophone of his life and shows his excellent taste and intuitive support for Miles' ferocious groove and swing. (Yes, I agree Wayne Shorter is a better musician; but that is no reason to retroactively dump on Coleman).
Miles and company took the moment and made it theirs. They sounded like only a band fresh in the relief from a profound funk can. This is a great album and a great place to fall in love with jazz. Buy it. If you don't suddenly understand what jazz is all about here-maybe you never will.
Best live Miles I've ever heard
anonymous | Washington, DC | 01/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every take of every tune on these discs is definitive.
The individual virtuosity of each musician is unparalleled, but of course it's the rhythm section that really propels this band. It's no wonder they continued to play together in various iterations over the following decades. The level of musical telepathy these guys share is ridiculous. The way they change feels chorus after chorus, or during the ballads, section after section within a single chorus, set the standard for small-group improvisation for years to come. And as a result, Miles plays the best trumpet of his life.
A few minutes into the beginning of Miles' solo in Stella By Starlight, a perhaps over-exuberant audience member blurts out quite audibly "yeeeEEAAAHHH!" Amen."