- Released: March 15, 2005
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
The album MY FUNNY VALENTINE, comprised of delicate, complexly arranged ballads, and one of trumpeter Miles Davis's finest live recordings, is taken from a concert performed on February 12, 1964. Interestingly, the up-tempo numbers from that same concert appear here on FOUR & MORE. Energized by his new, young rhythm section--drummer Tony Williams, bassist Ron Carter, and pianist Herbie Hancock--Davis tears through versions of classics ("So What," "Walkin'," and "Four") at breakneck speed.
Davis's saxophonist at the time was George Coleman, the middleman between John Coltrane (in Davis's first great quintet) and Wayne Shorter (in his second). Though Coleman's name would be eclipsed in the history books, he turns in a stunning performance here, churning through harmonic inventions that approach Coltrane's aesthetic with a lightness and lyricism often missing from Shorter's playing. Davis plays with great vigor, too, moving toward an edgy, aggressive sound that shows the influence of free jazz, especially on "Joshua" and a breathless "Seven Steps to Heaven." Mercurial, dynamic, and technically flawless, FOUR & MORE is an exhilarating set, and a vital addition to the Davis catalogue.