Here is the Miles Davis collection that his legions of American fans have most eagerly awaited. Previously available as a fraction of the music herein and only initially issued domestically (in edited form on the two-LP set Live Evil, The Cellar Door Sessions was recorded December 16-19, 1970 at a club in Washington, DC, where the great trumpeter-bandleader Davis was at the helm of one of his most stimulating groups.
Rolling Stone - p.634.5 stars out of 5
-- "His bursts of not-jazz galvanize a rhythm team that respects the backbeat yet delights in trampling convention."
Entertainment Weekly - p.81
"The lengthy circular grooves, freaky wah-wah horn riffs, and ear-singeing guitar runs make this a kind of Rosetta stone for the entire jam band universe..."
Uncut - p.1084 stars out of 5
-- "[I]t finds Miles' wah-wah-drenched trumpet relentlessly prodding his bandmates....Each is a unique representation of a band kicking aside the barriers."
The Wire - p.54
"Davis's music gushes out of this group as though they've just struck oil....Tempestuous sounds for turbulent times, and plenty for sated Miles fans to chew on afresh."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1224 stars out of 5
- "Jarrett is feverish throughout and John McLaughlin brings a further element of terror to the final two sets..."
Contains previously unreleased material. Some of the recordings on the CELLAR DOOR SESSIONS were originally released in edited form on the 1971 double-LP LIVE EVIL.
Personnel: Miles Davis (trumpet); Miles Davis; John McLaughlin (guitar, electric guitar); Keith Jarrett (Fender Rhodes piano, electric organ); Michael J. Henderson (electric bass); Michael Henderson (bass guitar); Gary Bartz (soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Jack DeJohnette (drums); Airto Moreira (percussion).
Liner Note Authors: John McLaughlin; Keith Jarrett; Airto Moreira; Gary Bartz; Jack DeJohnette; Michael J. Henderson; Adam Holzman.
Recording information: The Cellar Door, Washington DC (12/16/1970-12/19/1970).
Introduction by: Bob Belden.
Photographers: Jim Marshall ; Art Maillet; David Gahr; Urve Kuusik; Sandy Speiser; David Redfern.
There is an entire universe contained in this box. Sumptuously packaged and scrupulously annotated, CELLAR DOOR SESSIONS 1970 is a six-disc set that documents Miles Davis's extended residency at the Washington, D.C., club. Davis is backed by a group of genius musicians: keyboardist Keith Jarrett, drummer Jack DeJohnette, bassist Michael Henderson, saxophonist Gary Bartz, percussionist Airto Moreira and guitarist John McLaughlin (who appears only on the last two discs). Together they pioneered an ecstatic fusion of jazz, rock, funk, and abstract sound-painting that established the blueprint for the future of progressive music.
Each disc contains a different live set, and while songs are often repeated across the set lists, no two tracks sound the same. The players improvise at a fever-pitch, pushing themselves to endless invention, and the ensemble's interplay--expressionistic, protean, and fierce--is near telepathic. The influence of rock artists like Sly Stone and Jimi Hendrix can be heard in the layering of deep funk rhythms and psychedelic inflections (especially with Miles's wah-filtered trumpet), but the overall sound seems to subsume and transcend the entire history of 20th century music. In a career full of musical innovation, this is some of Miles's most visionary work, and this essential set (which also boasts splendid remastering) documents it for a near-religious listening experience.