Miles had dismissed Sam Rivers, and Wayne Shorter—whom he had been trying to hire away from Art Blakey for four years—was finally free. Here was the man needed by his driving rhythm section to rip apart the conventions of “modern” jazz, which wasn’t all that modern anymore. Wayne was already highly respected, the musical director of the well-known Jazz Messengers, but also a poet-saxophonist who was searching for interior worlds and could not be satisfied with the forceful simplicity of hard bop. His lyricism, taste for abstraction, and sense of space gave him an affinity with his new employer. Miles would help him give flight to the fantasies pervading his every phrase as well as the structures of his solos, and which fully resonated with the foundations that the triumvirate Hancock-Carter-Williams constantly reinvented. Beginning with this concert in Berlin, one of the first given by the newly reorganized quintet, a certain alchemy took over, perhaps reaching its summit in the tenor solo on “Walkin’,” whose frenetic tempo at times practically disintegrates.
Original issue: CBS LP SBPG 62976 on February 1,1965 in Germany
Producer: Rudy Wolpert
Engineer: Recorded by SFB Radio, Berlin
Miles Davis (tpt); Wayne Shorter (ts); Herbie Hancock (p); Ron Carter (b); Tony Williams (d)
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