Miles Davis - The Cellar Door Sessions 1970

Miles Davis' "the Cellar Door Sessions 1970" will be released December 27 by Columbia/Legacy Jazz. Previously available as a fraction of the music herein and only initially issued domestically (in edited form on the two-LP set, “Live Evil, ” “The Cellar Door Sessions 1970” was recorded December 16-19, 1970 at a club in Washington, D.C., where the great trumpeter-bandleader Davis was at the helm of one his most stimulating groups.

The sextet on the Cellar Door's bandstand - Davis, saxophonist Gary Bartz, keyboardist Keith Jarrett, electric bassist Michael Henderson, drummer Jack DeJohnette, and percussionist Airto Moreiera - is a sheer marvel of kinetic energy. Adding another dimension of excitement on the final two discs is the blazing guitar of John McLaughlin. With the exception of young Henderson, who had made his bones as a Motown session ace and touring with Stevie Wonder, every member of this Davis band has subsequently proved to be a major figure in jazz; in his own way, each has placed a highly personal stamp on improvisation during the past 35 years. In 1969, the year Davis (1926-1991) recorded “In A Silent Way” and “Bitches Brew, ” he told Downbeat's Don DeMichael, “I could put together the greatest rock 'n' roll band you ever heard.” Well, here it is, and if the Davis group is not working the same blues-rockin' side of the street as the Rolling Stones (then billed as “the greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world”), they're breaking on through to another side - the fearless and peerless jazz side of funkmeisters James Brown and Sly Stone, and rock deity Jimi Hendrix.

The 28 performances spread out over these six discs, running nearly six hours, add up to an inestimable document of the musical crossbreeding spearheaded by Miles and his crew. Bringing additional luster to this deluxe package is a number of previously unpublished photographs, as well as individual essays of four unforgettable nights by each of the six men who, with their leader, created the music that elevates the Cellar Door.

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