"Let me start to say, I think this is one of the coolest in the later Miles Davis album covers. You get Miles' grill right up front - simple and very stylish.
Now for the music. The selections are outstanding - the fabulous and fabled collaborations between two musical geniuses (Miles & Gil). Quincy does an excellent job interpreting the scores and the orchestra plays wonderfully (they do get a little loud compared to the delicate Stereo sound of the original recordings). Here's my schtik - Miles is out of shape for this performance. If you haven't seen the video, he looks like he is about to keel over. Wallace Roney sits by his side the entire performance and practically plays all of the time. Miles sort of "helps out" and hardly plays at all. Wallace Roney is almost uncredited to this "Miles" CD and should have his name on the cover. I deem this "Miles Davis" CD, uh, Forgettable since Miles hardly plays. I think "Doo-Bop" is better than this - at least Miles plays on it.
My last rant - the PRICE. If you plan to buy this, don't buy it NEW for $18.99 (even if it's for a gift). There are currently 75 Used copies for $0.95 & up. Buy one of those and save your $ for gas. I can't believe Warner hasn't lowered the price on this dinosaur (should be $11.99 NEW). Quincy Jones must be rolling in the profits still.
The video is currently out of print and should be on DVD. It would be worth watching instead of listening.
I do recommend the Miles Davis & Gil Evans box set (or Best of Miles Davis & Gil Evans).
Good luck - and remember, buy it used."
A tribute to Davis by Jones
Jens | Montréal | 02/04/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I remember seeing this concert on TV soon after Miles Davis died, and I'm glad I taped it at the time (along with the "Tribute to Miles" concert that was aired with it). It was clear from the interviews with Quincy Jones that he really wanted to do that concert out of his tremendous respect for both Miles Davis and Gil Evans. Being one of today's great jazz arrangers, it's understandable that Jones would have such tremendous regard for Evans. On the other hand, in an interview around the same time, Miles Davis stated that he hated to play his old stuff: "I've already played that music and I've moved on" (or words to that effect). Whereas Davis was a man of few words, it was clear that he admired Quincy Jones, so I doubt that he had serious reservations about playing the concert with him at Montreux, but simply that he found it a bit boring and redundant to play his old music. Being a great fan of Miles Davis' post-fusion music ("In a Silent Way," "Get Up with It," and beyond), I agree that the old music can be a bit uninteresting, especially for the artist playing it. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed hearing and seeing that concert. Jones' jazz orchestra was great as always, and the soloists were astounding, especially Kenny Garrett and Walace Roney. And, contrary to a few other reviews, Miles Davis did play quite a lot in this concert, but he tended to play his horn muted, often choosing to remain in the shadows while backing the other soloists--a generous act, I think. Those other players gave fresh life to many of the songs that people hear only on Davis' old recordings; this recording can be recommended, if only for that reason."
So Much Said About One Concert
Mr. Richard D. Coreno | Berea, Ohio USA | 07/31/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"So much has be written about the concert, and I strongly feel it is based on Miles passing away several months later.
And it always seems to center on Miles never wanting to look back on his music. But his rapidly failing health swayed his decision to join Quincy Jones and the vast number of musicians on stage for the tribute show.
Quincy Jones arranged the show and it certainly was quesionable how much Miles was going to be physically able to play, if at all. It was a shock to most involved in the project that Miles was in declining health. That Miles found the power inside himself to play says more about the person than performer.
If anything, the sound was "overproduced" due to the number of musicians used by Jones. I will let others hash out why Miles participated. But the concert is a required piece in a collection that attempts to capture Miles at every facet of his career.
Just painful... the sound of Miles about to kick the bucket
Truman Chipotle | Dallas, TX, United States | 08/13/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The most respectful thing to have done with this recording, would have been for them to erase the tapes, out of respect for Miles Davis. These are arrangements that Miles struggled to play when he was in his prime. Whoever persuaded him to try to play them when he was old and in ill health could not possibly have had Miles' best interests at heart. Even the young fill-in trumpeter who covers most of Miles' parts is playing clams all over the place, probably because he is distracted, keeping an eye on Miles to make sure he doesn't die onstage. The song "Springsville", which calls for a nimble, fast-paced melody line on the trumpet, and was one of the crowning achievements on the original Miles Ahead album, is just a real mess here.
The orchestra does a fine job with the arrangements here, and the sax soloist shines on tunes like "Miles Ahead", but it is not enough to save such an ill-conceived project. I have to agree with the other writers, though, who say that Mr. Davis certainly was a brave man, and a real fighter, to play this show despite his frailties. He kept doing what he loved to do, right up until the end, which is admirable. I just don't this recording is how Miles Davis would want us to remember him.
Can you imagine an ailing 60 year old Elvis doing a nostalgia gig with a young Elvis impersonator standing beside him, singing all but the easiest notes in his place? Pretty absurd huh? This project is nearly as absurd, but the sad part is that it really happened."
"Interesting but not essential..." but not the worst thing e
Peter Gillette | Appleton, WI United States | 08/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here's the thing. Somebody gave me this CD (sort of a requested regift), and at the time I had a dozen or so miles discs, including sketches, miles ahead, the first and second quintets, some first-class electric stuff, ya-da, and I was just like... Okay, his chops are shot here. He's bored, yadayadayada. And that's kind of true... BUT... 90s miles is still picasso, but with a broken hand. There are some very very beautiful moves he makes. If anything, his frailty tends to add to the very human, vocal, earthy sounds that gil evans, with all the fussy scoring, got in the end. Which brings me to my complaint: OVERSCORED. wow. Not by Gil, but by Quincy. He must have had a lot of favors to call in to studio cats, because they're all here. Three bands worth. It's the Miles All-State Honors band playing Lohengrin, to fashion an analogy.
Now, the other soloists acquit themselves well. VERY well. Roney is respectful and respectable. Kenny G. (as in, Kenny the Great, or Garrett) breathes fire. Here comes de honey man, always my favorite song from porgy and bess with gil and miles in spite of (or because of?) its brevity, just soars and circles and you hope it will never land again. Miles and Kenny have the "lock," the mind-meld, like Wayne and Trane did, on Solea, the one tune where the groove, the moment REALLY happens for both players and the band. The rest is well-enough played. It's not going to EVER come close to being a one disc sampler of the originals. good heavens, no.
By way of postscript... for anybody who thinks that in the last year of his life, doo-bop and all that, miles was artistically and physically bankrupt, pick up shirley horn's "you won't forget me." he plays, in the harmon, on the title track, some of the sweetest, saddest, aching, and above all, smart acoustic improvisation of his career. Excuse the hyperbole. He reads shirley's mind, weaves in and out... Miles's choices may have taken him away from overtly "artistic" music, but even in something like Human Nature or Time after Time (not to mention "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down"--whoa--and jack johnson and get up with it) electric miles could A) still play and B) still play interesting stuff within its genre and beyond it.
is this worth getting? maybe make this your fifteenth miles purchase and later. While you're at it, check out shirley."