MILES AND FREE JAZZ [Lost Patrol Pt 2]

October 24, 2008 – 3:59 am

While Woodstock might mark the the end of the ’60s and an attitude, for Miles Davis, it was just part of his continuing search for a new sound - even experimenting with free jazz.

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Rome 1969 [Miles-Tree, 2CD]

Live at the Teatro Sistina, Rome, Italy, October 27, 1969. Excellent radio broadcast.

The Lost Quintet refers to the Miles Davis Band from 1969 that featured Miles (trumpet), Dave Holland (bass), Wayne Shorter (saxophone), Jack DeJohnette (drums) and Chick Corea (keyboards), a group that never recorded together in the studios.

While acknowledged as a ground-breaking group, Miles did not play up the line-up or the 1969 European gigs in his autobiography. He commented: “The sound of my music was changing as fast as I was changing musicians, but I was still looking for a combination that could give me the sound that I wanted. Jack DeJohnette gave me a certain deep groove that I just loved to play over… Dave Holland played the stand-up bass and I could groove behind that in a way… The same thing with Chick (Corea)… I was seeing it all as a process of recording all this music, just getting it all down while it was flowing out of my head.”

To get an idea of Miles and his music during that period, Chris M Slawecki, in his review of Miles Davis Live at the Fillmore East (March 7, 1970), wrote: “1969 was the year of Pharoah Sanders’ Karma and of King Crimson’s In The Court of the Crimson King, the year of The Stooges’ first album and of Sly & The Family Stone’s Stand!. All around the world, there was a whole lot of yowling going on.

“1969 was also the year of Woodstock. Just two days after the smoke cleared from those three days of peace and music and love, Davis and his band entered a Columbia recording studio. Their mission: To attempt to wrench Jazz from its roots in traditional ballads and blues and, in Davis’s clenched fist, to thrust it into the modern language and energy of rock. The fruit of these sessions was merely one of the most defiant and controversial albums in Jazz history, Bitches Brew.”

In his attempt to conjure up a new jazz idiom, Miles also experimented with free jazz. It might even be fair to say that the time from 1969 to early 1970 can be considered Miles’s free jazz period - after that he would drop free jazz and move to fusion/rock/funk.

It was also during this period that Miles was introduced to Karlheinz Stockhausen’s music. Interestingly, Stockhausen’s influence on Miles can be found on the 1972 album, On The Corner. In his review in the All Music Guide, Thom Jurek noted: “(Teo) Macero should be given more credit than as merely ‘producer.’ Miles may have run the sessions, but it was Macero who congealed them onto this single LP. It was he who, along with Davis, had been seduced by the electronic tape manipulation techniques of Karlheinz Stockhausen as introduced to them by composer and arranger Paul Buckmaster.”

In George Cole’s The Last Miles, Buckmaster said: “I related to Miles some of the thoughts and ideas of Stockhausen I had read in articles like ‘play something next to what you hear,’ and ‘think of what comes before what you’re playing and what comes after it.’ We live in this ‘now’ moment and there’s this flow of continuity from the future to the past or from the past to the future - which way does it go?”

But making music was not a one-way street for Miles. With Stockhausen, it was an interactive relationship. In Miles Davis And Karlheinz Stockhausen: A Reciprocal Relationship, Barry Bergstein wrote: “Davis’s impact on Stockhausen was manifested in Stockhausen’s adaptation of the electric trumpet, his use of wah-wah pedal, mutes, improvisational elements, and jazz stylization. Stockhausen’s conceptual development of process, intuition, and use of found elements were in return adopted formally by Davis. The beginning of their reciprocal relationship can be traced to the early 1970s when they became aware of each other’s innovations.”

A word of thanks then to the people at Miles-Tree who compiled and shared the Lost Quintet recordings - a treasure trove of exciting music and especially one that shines a light on Miles’s experimentation with free jazz.

These tracks are no longer available for sharing.Disc 1 (first set)
Track 101. Directions (J. Zawinul) 6:51
Track 102. Directions/This 4:31
Track 103. This (C. Corea) (incomplete) 5:02
Track 104. ‘Round Midnight (B. Hanighen-C. Williams-T. Monk) 10:47
Track 105. I Fall in Love Too Easily (S. Cahn-J. Styne) 1:47
Track 106. Masqualero (W. Shorter) (with applause) 12:17

Disc 2 (second set)
Track 201. Bitches Brew (M. Davis) 15:06
Track 202. Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (M. Davis) 15:08
Track 203. Agitation (M. Davis) 8:16
Track 204. I Fall in Love Too Easily (S. Cahn-J. Styne) 2:06
Track 205. Sanctuary (W. Shorter-M. Davis) 3:44

Miles Davis (trumpet)
Chick Corea (keyboards)
Wayne Shorter (saxophone)
Dave Holland (bass)
Jack DeJohnette (drums)

The only official release of this Lost Quintet can be found on this 2001 release - Miles Davis - Live at the Fillmore East (Legacy). The band played on March 6 and 7, 1970. Only the sets from the second day have been released. Buy the album here.

  1. 5 Responses to “MILES AND FREE JAZZ [Lost Patrol Pt 2]”

  2. Wow. It’s so remarkable how different this band sounds on this date in relation to the London show only a week later. And the far-out stuff they’re doing on “This” is unlike anything I’ve heard on a Miles recording. Corea on wooden flute! Is that a gong I hear? Amazing. Many thanks for sharing this gem.

    By JRHeatWarp on Oct 30, 2008

  3. Many thanks for sharing all of this gems-More Miles!!!!!!!!

    By Luis Torregrosa on Dec 9, 2008

  4. Hey!
    Thank for posting this. I love it!

    By a-guy-that-loves-miles on Aug 4, 2014

  5. Amazing repost! Miles Lives!

    By Johnny Kinkdom on Aug 9, 2014

  6. can you repost?

    By buzzkett on Dec 26, 2017

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