Miles Davis The Cellar Door Sessions 1970

Not for the squeamish, this six-disc box is for the fusion-era Miles fan who lives for Live Evil but wants to dive in deeper. If you subscribe to the fact that Bitches Brew charted a bold new course for jazz in general, then Cellar Door continues this exploration, as fellow travellers John McLaughlin, Jack DeJohnette, Keith Jarrett, bassist Michael Henderson, percussionist Airto Moreira and sax man Gary Bartz join Miles to bring these mythical dates to life from this renowned, Washington, DC club. A delicious explosion of deeply-grooved creativity oozes from Davis at the zenith of his improvisational powers and — when teamed with master instrumentalists — the resulting interplay raised the bar beyond mere kinetics and a love of adventure, launching these sessions into the annals of progressive musical history. From the intensity of Miles’ furious solos revealing a guitar-like mastery of the wah-wah pedal to Jarrett’s dark, spacey, sometimes sinister attack on Rhodes and organ, simultaneously; from McLaughlin’s angular, aggressively hell-bent fretwork to Bartz’s grace-meets-rage, blues-based detonations; from DeJohnette’s propulsive rock attack married to Henderson’s fluid, near-melodic bass lines; to Airto’s perpetually spaced-out, funky, rhythmic dimension — this is a set that defines self-discovery through introspection, highlighting tension and release and the first unlikely marriage of jazz, funk and rock — well ahead of its time.