November 20, 2012 – 4:32 am

No arrested development here.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Jazz Fest Berlin 1985 [Valleybird Dynamic Reconstruction Remaster, 2CD]

Live at the Philharmonie, West Berlin, Germany; November 1, 1985. Astra satellite digital radio broadcast, excellent digital stereo. “A++ - Definitive edition of the concert!”

The man with the horn is arguably at his physical peak. He blows sweetly and steadily. He commands a big band to play almost the entire You’re Under Arrest album, released earlier in September. Undoubtedly, Miles was “showing off”. Uncannily, Davis allowed for this concert to be filmed and recorded. The sound is phenomenal with this “Valleybird Dynamic Reconstruction”. This has to be played LOUD.

Several tracks here have never had studio releases, as far as we know. Sample this favorable review below:

“The Philharmonie Hall is vast and Miles and his band played with an audience that sat both in front and behind the stage. The band really gelled together and Angus Thomas describes it as the ‘baddest motherfucking jam band on the planet’. There was certainly an energy and an intensity to the playing that kept you on the edge of your seat, even when the band was playing a ballad.

There are many concert highlights. Miles’s playing on the Chaka Khan ballad ‘Stronger Than Before’, is simply moving. On ‘Pacific Express’, Miles leaves the stage to flirt with a woman in the audience and, at the end of the tune, Irving plays a short piano reprise. ‘Something On Your Mind’ features a blistering guitar solo from Stern, but the most energetic tune is ‘Hopscotch’, which includes a powerful Steve Thornton solo (his conga drums are brought to the front of the stage). He’s joined by Mazur, who plays an African talking drum while dancing wildly.

Then, Thomas steps to the front of the stage to take a solo, before throwing himself at Miles’s feet. The next tune ‘Rubberband’ had only been recorded a month earlier and was planned as the title track for Miles’s new album (the Rubberband album would be shelved). An upbeat number, ‘Rubberband’ sees Miles playing lots of discordant notes on the keyboard, much to the amusement of Stern, who grins wildly at him.

The encore, Mr Mister’s ‘Broken Wings’ was not televised, which is a shame, because the band play an excellent cover version, starting with a catchy bass riff played by Thomas, which has the audience clapping away, before Miles joins in to play some strong trumpet. And then it was over.

The nonet continued until the end of the year, until Thomas left, to be replaced by another Chicagoan bassist, Felton Crew. Stern would stay with the band until March 1986. The nonet also marked a time when Miles’s band were playing much looser, because after Miles recorded the Tutu album in early 1986, the arrangement started to get more organized. This band is often overlooked when people talk about Miles’s 1980s performances, but it deserves much greater recognition. Let’s hope one day, that the Berlin concert is officially released.”

Read the rest of the review at

Shared on DIME by plaz_restore two years ago. A huge thank you to plaz_restore and Valleybird.
- Professor Red

Source 1: SAT-DFM (Astra MPEG-I Layer II @ 192 kbps joint stereo) > MARIAN MARC 2 (@16/48) > HDD > dynamic restoration remaster (up to 6.5 db) with WAVELAB 5.0, using 32-, 48- & 64-bit solution plugins

Source 2: ANALOG CABLE-FM > MDAT(@32khz) > R-880(@16/48) > DAT > CDR > EAC > HDD > dynamic restoration remaster (up to 6.5 db) with WAVELAB 5.0, using 32-, 48- & 64-bit solution plugins

File assembly: source 2: first 40 seconds, and from Hopscotch until end. In between source 1 > Normalization to -0.01 dB > CD WAVE tracking > TLH > flac(lvl8)

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc 1 [79:48]
Track 101. Opening Medley (11:38): One Phone Call*/Right Off/Street Scenes*/Speak/That’s What Happened (18.6MB)
Track 102. Star People (7:01)& (11.2MB)
Track 103. The Maze (12:13) (19.5MB)
Track 104. Human Nature (Michael Jackson 11:12)* (17.9MB)
Track 105. Medley: MD I/Something’s On Your Mind/MD II (10:30)* (16.8MB)
Track 106. Time After Time (Cyndi Lauper 8:30)* (13.6MB)
Track 107. Ms Morrinsine (9:31)* (15.2MB)
Track 108. Code M.D. (9:07)+ (14.6MB)

Disc 2 [64:09]
Track 201. Pacific Express (14:37) (23.4MB)
Track 202. Burn (7:53) (12.6MB)
Track 203. Stronger Than Before (Chaka Khan 10:07) (16.2MB)
Track 204. Hopscotch (14:37) (23.4MB)
Track 205. Rubberband (8:57) (14.3MB)
Track 206. Miles/Crowd/Entering Stage (2:22) (3.8MB)
Track 207. Broken Wings (Mr Mister 5:32) (8.8MB)

* studio version found on You’re Under Arrest (1985).
+ studio version found on Decoy (1984).
& studio version found on Star People (1983).

Miles Davis: trumpet, keyboards
Bob Berg: tenor & soprano sax, keyboard on Broken Wings
Mike Stern: guitar
Bobby Irving: keyboards, musical director
Adam Holzman: keyboards
Angus Thomas: bass guitar
Marilyn Mazur: percussion
Steve Thornton: percussion
Vince Wilburn: drums, Simmons drums

The final studio album Miles Davis recorded for Columbia was 1985’s You’re Under Arrest. On hindsight, this is among his best recordings from his late period. Buy it here.

If you enjoyed the review excerpt, buy George Cole’s book The Last Miles: The Music Of Miles Davis, 1980 - 1991 here.

+ + + + +
+ + + + +

Click here for more shows that are still open for sharing.

Click here for closed shows.
(Readers can email us a request to reopen closed shows.)

  1. 10 Responses to “BIG BAND”

  2. Thanks again, bigO! Love the vast variety of music here.

    By NAMoosedog on Nov 20, 2012

  3. Good stuff!

    By Adam on Nov 20, 2012

  4. Great stuff, but at his physical peak???

    By Biff Baxter on Nov 21, 2012

  5. Saw this tour in North America in 1985, thanks for bringing back some great musical memories. At his physical peak? Probably not, and probably not his playing peak either, but Miles Davis on a bad day still kicked the ass of almost every musician out there even if they’re having a great day.

    By raoul duke on Nov 21, 2012

  6. I’m still coming to grips with Miles’s 80’s output - this should help! Thanks.

    By Jeremy Shatan on Nov 21, 2012

  7. Thank you so much for all your work at finding and posting these ROIR’s. Like Raoul Duke, I saw this band on tour and thought they were one of his best. Miles played the trumpet, too! As Charles Mingus said, “it’s just me and Duke and Miles”. Couldn”t agree more!

    By Johnny Kinkdom on Nov 22, 2012

  8. Thanks so much,just love Mike Stern guitar work.

    By Nijle on Nov 22, 2012

  9. Grammy-winning jazz bassist Marcus Miller and all 11 members of his band were injured and taken to hospitals when their bus overturned Sunday on a busy highway in Switzerland, killing the driver. The extent of injuries were unknown, but none were life-threatening. Among the great bands Marcus has played for are Miles Davis.

    By 4yrsnojob on Nov 26, 2012

  10. Wow–yet another Miles treasure from BigO! Thanx again..

    By beega on Nov 29, 2012

  11. Great line up on this one. Thanks!

    By Ernie47 on Jun 24, 2014

Post a Comment