Miles Davis and Quincy Jones – Miles and Quincy: Live at Montreux (1993)

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NICK DERISO: Featuring the classic arrangements of seminal Davis mentor Gil Evans, “Montreux” includes long-awaited live runthroughs of key selections from their collaborations — including “Boplicity” from “Birth of the Cool” as well as several cuts from “Miles Ahead,” “Porgy and Bess” and “Sketches of Spain.”

On “Miles and Quincy,” we find a bright, sometimes rip-roaring backing band conducted by Jones. Included are trumpeters Lew Soloff and Wallace Roney, altoist Kenny Garrett and drummer Grady Tate, among others.

Yet, in particular on the age-old opener “Boplicity,” Miles’ playing is autumnal, at best. (He died just weeks after this performance.) Roney stands as a younger, if more brittle, second-string backup through most of the recording.

It’s welcome, indeed, then when Miles subsequently seems to meet the excited attention of the crowd. In keeping with Davis’ steadfast eye for forward-thinking innovation, he had rarely, if ever, performed a number these tunes live. The Gershwin tunes finally emerge, however, as down-right randy. Conductor Jones (who had notable turns in the 1960s with Count Basie and Frank Sinatra) displays an ever-tightening grip on the proceedings.

That said, the star here — even as Quincy and, eventually, Miles lead the charge — is the original arranger, Gil Evans. Was it any surprise that Evans would, in talking about their longtime association, offhandedly reveal that he and Davis incorporated chords from Jimi Hendrix’s “The Wind Cries Mary” into the title track of 1968’s “Filles de Kilimanjaro”?

“Miles and Quincy,” in the end, celebrates that fertile relationship, working on separate levels as eulogy, primer and swinging good time.


Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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