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Miles Electric - A Different Kind of Blue
Miles Electric - A Different Kind of Blue
Actors: Gary Bartz, Bob Belden, Paul Buckmaster, Ron Carter, Chick Corea
Director: Murray Lerner
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2004     1hr 27min

When he released "Bitches Brew" in 1970, Miles Davis opened up a new angle to jazz which stirred up emotions like no other record before. Some critics accused Davis of selling out, while the public bought it like crazy. It...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Gary Bartz, Bob Belden, Paul Buckmaster, Ron Carter, Chick Corea
Director: Murray Lerner
Creators: Kramer Morgenthau, Edward Goldberg, Einar Westerlund, Pagan Harleman
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Davis, Miles, Jarrett, Keith, Jazz
Studio: Eagle Rock Ent
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 11/16/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 27min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

At Last, The Complete 1970 Isle Of Wight Gig Plus More!
J. Lund | SoCal, USA | 11/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"With most of the audio portion of Miles Davis' remarkable career now extensively issued or reissued (including the Sony/Columbia boxed sets that included unreleased sessions and alternate takes), video is the next and possibly final frontier for filling in the gaps of Davis' prolific and consistently productive career. Several DVDs covering Miles' underrated final years (1985-1991) have already been issued (and rumors persist that the 20-CD Montreux box may someday have a DVD counterpart, which would be an amazing feat if it comes to pass). Now MILES ELECTRIC cracks open the vaults to the 1960s and 1970s, hopefully the first of many vintage Davis videos to come.

Miles' 1970 Isle Of Wight performance before 600,000 fans had attained legendary status over the decades, but until now only a few audio soundbites had been issued (and remarkably the entire set was never bootlegged). MILES ELECTRIC includes but is not limited to the entire 38-minute IOW performance. In 1970 Davis was perhaps in his all-time peak physical condition, and musically confident of his ability to bridge his jazz-based roots with the more adventurous pop culture sounds of that era. His trumpet work here seems limitless technically and full of fresh improvisatory ideas. And contrary his (exaggerated?) reputation, Davis is seen acknowledging the crowd with a wave of his horn when leaving the stage as the performance ends.

The rest of the group is similiarly adventurous, including Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett on keyboards, Gary Bartz on sax, Dave Holland on bass, Jack DeJohnette on drums, and Airto Moreira on various percussion. What more can you ask for than a collection of outstanding musicians -- all first-tier names in the music's history -- thinking outside the box in a variety of ways? By the way, the video looks crisp and the sound (with two surround options in addition to stereo) is clear and well-balanced, with just some slight distortion on Miles' trumpet at times (but not to a bothersome extent). Considering the recording conditions, the audio and video turned out very well.

Notice that the DVD has a running time of 123 minutes, while the concert itself is 38m. What the producers decided for this release was to surround the IOW gig with a documentary that puts Davis' "electric era" into proper context, with interviews of the IOW bandmembers (all of whom are currently still alive and musically active except of course for Miles, who is nonetheless heard via interview clips from the 1980s). Also interviewed are other Davis associates and a few critics, including the infamous Stanley Crouch (who seems to be the first option when a dissenting voice regarding Miles' post-1969 career is needed). Although the performance isn't complete (wish that were a bonus option), there is an equally-thrilling 1964 clip from the Steve Allen show of Davis and his quintet playing "So What.""
That's Entertainment
Scott McFarland | Manassas, VA United States | 11/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The 38-minute performance at the Isle of Wight (in front of 600,000 rock fans) is awesome. The fidelity is good and the camera work is too. The average viewer/listener might be awed when watching Jack DeJohnette play his fractured funk or Keith Jarrett grimace while runs of quality music flow forth from his fingertips. Me I already knew this band was this good (these are the guys, minus one keyboard player and plus a different bass player, who went on to cut the massive "Live-Evil" within months). And I really, really enjoy watching this music that I love to listen to so much.

The interviews which fill out the DVD to movie length are good, interesting, and at times revealing. Bonus footage is included of interview segments that didn't make the film's cut, strung together in a highly watchable manner.

This music makes no bow to commercialism. People who aren't interested in musical experimentation and boundary-smashing might find it hard to take. But make no mistake this is as good as music or art can get. This is Miles at his best and music at its best.
"
As others have said FINALLY, FINALLY!!!
D. Garcia | Los Angeles | 01/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Sheech. I don't know how many videos I've seen talking about Miles. Talk, talk, talk! With little tiny clips that just kill then they are withdrawn. Frankly I don't care so much who Miles was personally. We all have our good and bad points. But... I LOVE his music... or what ever it was... that SOUND. That challenge! Miles heads know what I mean by this...

So I'm watching this thinking "Oh my god, not ANOTHER Miles movie with talk, talk, talk..." But then finally...

Thirty Eight minutes of Miles. Almost like it should be with no stops, no comments. Just Miles and his band. Isn't that what it's really about?

The MUSIC. The ART.

Like much of Miles' music from this period it's extremely uneven, up and down but the ups are so brilliant they are astonishing, like some kind of magic. Basically this is Miles' band from the Black Beauty/Live At Fillmore period - the NOT Bitches Brew period. It's very experimental, doesn't always work but always pushes and questions. This is Miles getting ready for Bitches Brew and the later stuff that still hasn't been equaled or even touched really. Heck this stuff hasn't been touched. Music hasn't really evolved much from Miles Magus period.

This gets 4 stars from me only because I know there is better Miles stuff out there.

My only complains are small. Too many close ups. I want to see the whole BAND 90% of the time not a close up. This is a jazz band interacting. That's the interesting part not the solos. And a bit too many cuts. For all those music video editors who think they are on the cutting edge... MTV editing is a banal cliché. Everyone does the fast cutting thing. It adds nothing. Especially to music like this that forces contemplation.

Anyway these are really small complaints.

Like others I'd like to see some of the later bands too. PLEASE CBS let us spend our money on you!!! Release the Live/Evil, Agarta, Dark Magus stuff on DVD too.

Actually the talking is not too bad on this. Some good insights. It's amazing how inarticulate the band members are about what made them tick during their school days with Miles. Pete Cosey is, I think, a standout. He's STILL some kind of way out goblin. And Santana is surprisingly articulate which is strange as he hardly ever actually played with Miles. I heard he was just too intimidated. I have a tape of one performance he did with Miles that's really really good though. What happened to Santana? Why isn't he doing anything that's anything? Despite what others have said about Joni Mitchell she too is articulate about Miles. And the short clips of her getting dissed by an audience are way cool.

Humorously, Miles got BOTTOM billing at Isle of Wight!!!??? In retrospect that makes us all seem pretty stupid, even though we weren't really stupid. It's just Miles was so damn good he was so far ahead of us we couldn't see 'till it was gone!

Thank you Dewey..."
Terrific
H. Lim | Carlingford, NSW Australia | 11/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The previous reviewer is quite correct. Most reviews seem to assume that this concert was one long formless jam. This is incorrect.

The pieces being played are:

Directions: 7:12
Bitches Brew: 10:05
It's About That Time: 6:29
Sanctuary: 1:01
Spanish Key: 8:15
The Theme: 1:55

Yes, he does actually play Go-Go at the end, just as if it were still 1959! It sounds rather out of place here.

This is an incredible performance. The moment when the "Bitches Brew" bassline starts up and Miles begins to shriek over the top is pure magic. This is fusion jazz at its absolute best. Gary Bartz' solo on "Spanish Key" is also incredible!

By the way, the "Tribute to Miles" sung by Airto Moreira at the end seems to be a rendition of "Bitches Brew"; and the pieces Carlos Santana demonstrates on the guitar are "In a Silent Way", "Spanish Key" and (his tribute to Miles) "Concierto di Aranjuez." ]
The piece played by Pete Cosey is "Turnaroundphrase" (aka "Moja")

If you have ANY interest in Jazz, or in music from around 1970, then get this NOW!!"