Sunday, January 8, 2023

Miles Davis - The Cellar Door Sessions 1970 [2005] (6 x CDs)



Miles Davis - The Cellar Door Sessions 1970 [2005] (6 x CDs)

The Cellar Door Sessions 1970 is a boxed live album released in 2005. It was recorded over several nights in 1970 at the Washington D. C. nightclub The Cellar Door. Despite similar formatting to The Miles Davis Series of box sets, it is not part of that series. Significant portions of Davis' Live-Evil were edited and compiled from the music that appears on discs 5 and 6. The sections labelled "Improvisation" into "Imamorata" are most commonly known as "Funky Tonk" but were released on Live-Evil as "Imamorata and Narration by Conrad Roberts". Live-Evil and this collection are the only official recordings of John McLaughlin's live performances with Miles Davis. (Wikipedia)

These mythical, Washington, DC December dates, released for the first in this impressive six-CD compilation, are an extension of Miles Davis's fusion LP, Live-Evil. Davis's piercing, electronically altered trumpet tones fire up of his young Turks; keyboardist Keith Jarrett, drummer Jack DeJohnette, bassist Michael Henderson, percussionist Airto Moreira, saxophonist Gary Bartz, and guitarist John McLaughlin. Davis's acoustic fans hated the adventurous and extended, jazz-rock excursions of selections like "Directions," "What I Say," and "It's About That Time," but there was no denying the complex interplay and improvisations, especially with Jarrett's rare Fender Rhodes electric piano and organ solos. Bartz's snaky, alto and soprano sax lines are equally astounding in this context, as is McLaughlin's "Hendrixsation" of the jazz guitar tradition. Davis bragged that he could "put together the greatest rock n' roll band you ever heard." He came pretty close to doing just that.

The Cellar Door Sessions set is like a combination of the Tribute to Jack Johnson set and the complete It's About That Time disc, with a watershed of information providing a complete bridge from one phase of that exploratory period in Davis' career to another. As Jarrett observes in his liner essay (each bandmember has one) after this date, Davis never played with a group as musically sophisticated again. And for all the ego displayed in stating this, one may tend to agree with him. Lavishly packaged and annotated, The Cellar Door Sessions is the last great reissue of the year 2005, and an essential testament to the genius Davis displayed in weaving together exploratory jazz, funk, and rock. (Amazon)


Pt.1     Pt.2 


Track list


01 Miles Davis Directions 8:55

02 Miles Davis Yesternow 17:05

03 Miles Davis What I Say 13:12

04 Miles Davis Improvisation #1 4:29

05 Miles Davis Inamorata 13:59


01 Miles Davis What I Say 13:33

02 Miles Davis Honky Tonk 19:59

03 Miles Davis It's About That Time 14:41

04 Miles Davis Improvisation #2 6:39

05 Miles Davis Inamorata 14:33

06 Miles Davis Sanctuary 0:30


01 Miles Davis Directions 13:11

02 Miles Davis Honky Tonk 18:31

03 Miles Davis What I Say 15:09


01 Miles Davis Directions 11:53

02 Miles Davis Honky Tonk 17:00

03 Miles Davis What I Say 14:12

04 Miles Davis Sanctuary 2:03

05 Miles Davis Improvisation #3 5:04

06 Miles Davis Inamorata 15:14


01 Miles Davis Directions 15:09

02 Miles Davis Honky Tonk 20:49

03 Miles Davis What I Say 21:31


01 Miles Davis Directions 19:04

02 Miles Davis Improvisation #4 5:03

03 Miles Davis Inamorata 18:27

04 Miles Davis Sanctuary 2:12

05 Miles Davis It's About That Time 7:49




  1. Thank you BB for the Miles Davis.

  2. IMHO, Davis' last great live band. Many thanks, BB.

    1. Hi pmac.
      His worth is all over the jazz timelines. Just wonderful and challenging.