Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Final Grade: A-

That's right, jazz heads, I didn't think Miles was perfect!  Damn near, but not quite.  Live - Evil is a phenomenal (as expected), game changing record.  Listening to this in 2015, it has a style that you can tell fits in the 70s, but once you realize it was released in 71 it's evident that this was forward thinking, envelope pushing, and ahead of its time.  This is not a record that I would recommend to any first-time jazzers - only the heavy hitters, or those more than familiar with jazz should attempt to dive into this one.  It is easy to gather from the multiple 20+ minute long songs that there is a lot of jamming going on, which can be deterring for some, but for those willing to listen this record is filled with gems.  There's no surprise that all of Miles' solos are borderline transcendent, as they crossed boundaries in improvisation, finding new ways to express one's self via their instrument, but he had plenty of help along with way with heavy hitters like Keith Jarret, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, and Jack DeJohnette to carry this album along.  "Little Church" is probably my favorite track off the record, as there's a subtlety to it that contrasts the sometimes overwhelming jams going on throughout.  The minus in this grade comes from "What I Say," as I felt that track to be repetitive, particularly for a song of its length.  While this was certainly a feet first, eyes closed jump into the music of Miles Davis, it was a needed leap into the world of a master that for me had been fairly unknown (I had obviously been aware of Miles' more popular music).  As stated before, this is not for the faint of heart, but should you like to be challenged and/or transcribe crazy scales, this record is for you.

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