Miles Davis - Fillmore West October 15th 1970
In October of 1970 Miles Davis played a run of shows at the Fillmore West in California. This is just after the release of Bitches Brew, and while he was recording Jack Johnson. There is a lot to say about the album Jack Johnson, and I’ve been talking about it pretty extensively on Mastodon. This live performance, though, deserves some special attention.
The video above should start around the 30 minute mark, right at the beginning of Yesternow. That’s intentional, for a few reasons. First, the band takes a while to warm up. The first 5 - 10 minutes are really just them getting in to the groove. Second, there’s an annoying voiceover that was unintentionally included around the 15 minute mark that mars the quality of this otherwise stellar recording, just as the band is really getting in to the zone. Third, Yesternow is the B-Side of the album Jack Johnson, and the performance here showcases that wonderful song in a very different state.
The whole performance is astounding. The voiceover I mentioned is only a minor flaw in the recording. There are recordings on youtube of the other nights of this run as well, but the quality of those recordings is much poorer, and the performances aren’t (in my opinion, at least) as good as this one.
All of these performances, and dozens upon dozens more have been published to youtube by the Milestones channel. They have published live performances and studio outtakes from all over Miles’ carreer, and I’m super excited to continue to pick through them.