Miles in May (and after)

fri 30 apr 2021
Theme: Jazz

Especially for Concertzender, programme maker Jaap van de Klomp has made a retrospective of Miles Davis. He began selecting live performances starting July 1955, when Miles impressed at the Newport Jazz Festival. It got him an important contract with Columbia Records. Not long after this, he formed his First Quintet, including the energetic, virtuoso tenorist John Coltrane as his complementary counterpart. A few days after the Paris recordings of the film music of L’Ascenseur Pour L’Échafaud, the Amsterdam Concert from 1957 followed, with the same line-up.

In 1960, the First Quintet toured through Europe. On Miles Davis & John Coltrane – The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series Vol. 6, we can hear the last performances of Coltrane and Davis. Coltrane had no further interest in the tour anymore and couldn’t wait to start something for himself. He wasn’t bothered by anyone or anything and continued on his own adventurous path, to which the audience had varied responses.


After concerts in America with tenorists Hank Mobley and George Coleman, in Tokyo with Sam Rivers, and in Europe with Wayne Shorter, we will hear electric Miles on Bitches Brew Live (1970), “a document meant to show the evolution of Davis’s electric sound, and it does that well.” (Matthew Fiander).


Between 1975 and 1980, Davis was fighting demons, and excessive use of cocaine and alcohol worsened his condition. Davis: “Sex and drugs took the place music had occupied in my life.” The trumpet was gathering dust. In 1981, a year after his comeback, We Want Miles was released. The album won a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance by a Soloist.


A summer full of Miles

From May to August we will broadcast the following legendary concerts:


Programme 1 – 22 May

Recorded in 1955 – Newport Jazz Festival and 1957 Concertgebouw Amsterdam.


Programme 2 – 29 May

Recorded in 1960 – of the last tour of the First Quintet with John Coltrane.


Programme 3 – 26 June

Recorded in 1961 – Carnegie Hall N.Y. Quintet with Hank Mobley and full orchestra conducted by Gil Evans.


Programme 4 – 24 July

Recorded in 1964 – made in New York, Tokyo, and Berlin. The start of the Second Quintet.


Programme 5 – 31 July

Recorded in 1969 – the ‘Lost Quintet’, the second quintet after personal changes.


Programme 6 – 28 August.

Recorded in 1970 – Isle of Wight and 1981 the start of the last ‘Funk’ period and superstardom.