For more than 50 years, trumpeter/bandleader Miles Davis was a major innovator of cool, modal, avant-garde, and fusion jazz styles. This program captures Davis's band: alto saxophonist/flutist Kenny Garrett, Keyboardists ... more »Robert Irving III and Adam Holzmann, lead bassist Joseph "Foley" McCreary, and bassist Benjamin Rietveld, percussionist Marilyn Mazur, and drummer Ricky Wellman, live in Munich, Germany on July 10th, 1988. With these musicians' sympathetic and syncopated support, Davis's trademarked Harmon-muted trumpet tones dance and trance over the combo's supple electric swing. Throughout the concert, Davis glides across the stage with the elegance and power of a dancer and a fighter, huddling with his sidemen to play and share a phrase. Interview snippets with Davis feature the trumpeter frankly discussing his other passion, artwork. All told, Miles in Munich shows that the man called "Prince of Darkness" was full of artistic light near the end of his creative life.« less
Five stars for the group, four stars for Miles? playing
J. Lund | SoCal, USA | 09/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're in the mood to hear some excellent Miles Davis and don't have any particular biases (e.g., acoustic vs. electric), LIVE IN MUNICH (recorded July 1988) is the best video document yet of his final decade, much better in all respects than MILES IN PARIS (recorded a year later with some of the same personnel). Portions of this DVD were previously issued in Japan, but the program has been greatly expanded here, to the point where you have a nearly-complete, 132 minute-long concert with a sharp picture and fine 5.1 or 24-bit 2.0 sound (I favor the latter). This is one of Miles' most-inspired 1980s-era ensembles, with everyone playing as a team and contributing fine solos. The underrated percussionist Marilyn Mazur is outstanding throughout, the same with acclaimed reedman Kenny Garrett. Lead bassist Foley shows a lot of range (from a whisper on DON'T STOP ME NOW to a scream on HEAVY METAL). Keyboardists Robert Irving III and Adam Holzman, bassist Benjamin Rietveld and drummer Ricky Wellman also excel whether they are soloing or not. Without exception, each bandmember has something distinctive to offer in Davis' group. The music covers a lot of ground, from some fairly cutting-edge funk to poignant ballads that allow Miles in particular an opportunity to recast his classic muted-trumpet style in a modern musical context. Davis does not solo on every track...a number of the compositions are built as features for his sidepersons (e.g., HEAVY METAL PRELUDE for Mazur). With over two hours of material, you really get a full picture of how much stylistic ground Davis covered...in one concert, let alone his entire career. After hearing the expanded/altered live versions here of particular album tracks, you can appreciate that Miles saw his studio projects as blueprints for what would later greatly evolve on his concert tours. The DVD extras range from superfluous (the timeline) to informative (Holzman's liner notes), and there are a few examples of Davis' artwork. There is a bonus second DVD with a 30 minute Miles Davis interview that will please collectors, albeit the context of some of his comments might confuse newcomers. Overall, LIVE IN MUNICH is highly recommended if you are open to this period of Miles' career!"
Not enough Miles
u4ea_3 | ID. USA | 12/03/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a good DVD. Production is great. Especially the 24 bit sound. The band is tight. It is enjoyable. However, it is not Miles Davis that is highlighted. Miles seems a little weak here. Solos are short and he seems intent on featuring other band members. I give it three stars because I would have liked more Miles. The Miles that you do get are good Miles.Other weaknesses...The bassist is a bit sloppy. On fast runs and solos notes are missing or very weak. Miles talks frequently throughout the concert into his trumpet's micrphone. However, it is tuned or turned down so low that you cannot hear what he is saying. Granted he is probably just introducing band members but still...this is lousy production or recording work.In summary if you want to see Miles playing the OBX and leading a great band this is a good DVD for you to buy. If you want hard-core trumpet playing pass on this one.Good pointsTight band
Video is excellent quality
Sound is excellent quality"
Johnny Hodges | Clark Fork, ID United States | 08/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have adored all of Miles work since I bought my mono copy of Kind of Blue in 1959. I put on this DVD thinking I would check out a couple of tracks only to find myself unable to stop until the last of the 2hrs plus nonstop pinned to my chair ohmuhgawd delight of it all.
For those who think Miles doesn't play enough in his latter work, dig it! his instrument IS the band. Nobody complains that Duke Ellington doesn't play enough piano on his recordings.
This DVD is an absolute must have for Miles fans: a generous serving of music from a period when up-tight criticism of his music resulted in a scarcity of recordings.
While I tend to regard the video of a music performance kind of an extra (music is an AURAL experience; MTV generation needs to shut their eyes and open their ears), the visuals here emphasize the ensemble interaction and Miles role in gently steering the sonic machine. Especially enjoyed watching percussionist Marilyn Mazur's joyful delight in the proceedings."
Slick and Groovy!
Puneet S. Lamba | Boston, MA | 12/16/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an exquisitely produced record of Miles Davis' 1988 performance in accompaniment with an extremely talented, albeit young, touring band.The band is: Miles Davis (Trumpet), Joe "Foley" McCreary (Four-String Guitar), Benny Rietveld (Bass) [Sheila E and Santana's "Supernatural" (1999)], Kenny Garrett (Saxophone and Flute) [Art Blakey and Sting], Marilyn Mazur (Percussion and Dance), Bobby Irving and Adam Holzman (Keyboards and Synthesizers), and Ricky Wellman (Drums) [Chuck Brown and Soul Searchers].Five of the fifteen tunes are from Davis' Grammy-winning album "Tutu" (1986).Far from hogging the stage, Miles Davis spars continually with band members, allowing them numerous opportunities to segue into solos. That leaves the audience hungering for Miles Davis who delights plentifully with brief moments of brilliance without actually launching into any extended solos of his own.
Included is a rare and irreverent interview with Miles during which he is absentmindedly engaged in another lesser-known passion of his - painting."
Jazz is Jazz, this is Miles - a rebirth of the Cool.
T. Hollins | Belleville, MI United States | 11/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just finished a first listening of the "Miles Davis Live in Munich" DVD. This is a spell-binding treat for musicians and people alike. I've practiced the trumpet since 1964 and followed the work of Miles during my lifetime. This concert summarizes everything that is the Miles that I love. The concert begins in a Perfect Way then gently segues through The Senate to play Me & U. Human Nature gets aptly revealed, but Wrinkle is way too smooth jazz. His Tutu is more like black magic passed down Time After Time, then Splatch! Where did that come from? Just imagine, Heavy Metal without any noise! Well, Don't Stop Me Now, its Carnival Time. Listen carefully to Tomaas, then some New Blues. Finally, Portia polishes off the evening in a tender way.Jazz is jazz, but this is Miles Davis in peak artistic form. It was his rebirth of the cool. It seems, he surrounded himself with a group of young musicians barely half is age, yet able to demonstrate why they belonged on stage with the legendary Miles. This DVD will be viewable over and over - as something new will emerge each time. I have the studio mix of Tutu and Amandla CD's They lack vigor when compared to a live performance, on DVD.Miles' creativity packaged into a complete aural and visual experience that is muted and full bore; sophisticated, yet simple to understand. Miles is being a father figure mentoring his children to be the best that is possible in that moment. This DVD is about Miles, the artist, speaking an intimate conversation through his horn to his Jedi Knights. Each talent is responding in voices that are both original and yet personify thoughts that are Miles. I would comment more about musical ability, but that seems to lessen the impact of what happened on stage in 1989. This group forms a fusion of highly syncopated rhythms, complex harmonies and voices (not the talking kind) that result in more than just sound. They are expressing passionate emotions that cannot be described, only felt. The dialog between these musicians is both tight and loosely improvisational. It is funky and softly persuasive. Miles demonstrates a full range of his talent beginning in soft muted tones and rising to an explosive sound. He clearly loves and respects his youthful protégées; they feed one another with vigor and creative energy.These distinctive audio/video sensations are the final living spirit of Miles. This cannot be experienced live, but Dolby 5.1 is well engineered for the next best possibility. Enjoy!Theo"