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Euroarts Archives 1988
This 1988 concert in Munich provides a snapshot into a curious point in Miles Davis career. The jazz legend had made a name for himself by breaking codes, empowering space and improvising entire live shows. At the beginning of the 80s, his group wouldn't even rehearse and none of the musicians knew what they would play once they got on stage. By the end of the decade, however, and partly due to Davis' new work with the ingenious young bassist and composer Marcus Miller on Tutu, the tables had turned and Miles began to structure his performances once again.
Here is a case in point. With a defined setlist, Miles led a stellar cast of musicians (an octet) on-stage with the expressed aim of delivering tracks that had already been written and arranged. Yet, from the opening track, a Gartside/ Gamson piece called "Perfect Way," the magic of the exercise becomes clear: freedom exists in the depth of the interpretation, the daring of solos and the space for new flavor to be added. Indeed, the bassist Benjamin Rietveld remarked that this new "stifled" approach actually contained a huge amount of possibility, something that can be seen on stage by Miles' rare smile, and the electric dialogues that the musicians share.