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Miles Davis Retrospective – 1

fri 21 may 2021
Theme: Jazz

Concertzender Live on Saturday 22 May 14:00 CET features Miles Davis live in Newport (USA). And also live in Amsterdam, with a unique band consisting almost entirely of French musicians.

The discography of trumpet player, composer, bandleader and jazz innovator Miles Davis includes almost 40 (!) live albums. In the next few months, Concertzender Live will be broadcasting a selection of these albums that cover the period from 1955 to the 1980s.

The series starts with a performance at the Newport Jazz Festival in July 1955. The concert followed a number of difficult years for Davis with a serious heroin addiction and little musical activity but his performance was impressive. The band includes pianist Thelonious Monk and the set includes a version of his composition Round Midnight. This standard was composed in 1944 and was recorded 19 times by Monk himself – and the number of recordings by other artists is now more than 100. This performance in Newport resulted in a contract for Davis from Columbia Records. It was the start of a successful period in his career.

In November 1957, Davis was in Paris for a series of concerts. While he was there he was asked to provide the music for Louis Malle’s film Ascenseur Pour L’Échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows). He provided only minimal instructions to the four musicians who joined him in the studio – the music was then improvised without any rehearsal while the musicians looked at the moving images from the film.  The resulting music was a major reason for the positive reception of the film. Davis’ sidemen were tenor player Barney Wilen, pianist René Urtreger, bassist Pierre Michelot and drummer Kenny Clarke.

Several days later Davis performed with the same musicians in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. The concert includes numbers that were part of his live performances at the time, including compositions by Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Jackson and Miles Davis himself.

Concertzender Live – a programme by Jaap van de Klomp