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JAZZ NOTES

Second Thoughts on Miles at Montreux

September 17, 1993|ZAN STEWART | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

In this column on Aug. 20, a less than favorable review was given to the Warner Bros. recording "Miles Davis and Quincy Jones: Live at Montreux," which documented the July 8, 1991, live performance by the trumpeter at the famed Swiss jazz festival.

On the album, Davis, who died the following Sept. 28, played very difficult material, most drawn from his classic late-'50s albums--"Miles Ahead," "Porgy and Bess" and "Sketches of Spain," all of which featured wonderful orchestrations by Gil Evans.

The review stated that Davis was not up to his usual high standard, fluffing notes consistently and letting trumpeter Wallace Roney, who played alongside Davis at the concert, handle most of the solos.

Not true. Watching a similarly-titled video of the concert at a recent screening made clear to the eyes what the ears had found hard to believe: that Davis did almost all the soloing, and that he was in fine form almost throughout. His improvisations on "My Ship" and "Solea" are particularly invigorating.

Though the new recording, which is now recommended, still is not of the level of his earlier work, it does pay tribute to Davis' creative resourcefulness and musical bravura. The video, also on Warner Bros. and priced at $29.95, will be released on Oct. 5.

ON TAP THIS WEEK: The American Jazz Philharmonic, which was formerly known as the New American Orchestra and the Los Angeles Symphonic Jazz Orchestra, has finally released its debut, eponymously--titled CD on GRP Records.

The album is highlighted by "Nostalgico," a spirited Manny Albam work showcasing the never-less-than-ebullient alto saxophone of Phil Woods, and "Open Me First," a John Clayton number that blends big band and orchestral writing.

Clayton and saxophonists Tom Scott and Tommy Newsom will appear with the American Jazz Philharmonic when it performs in a free concert on Tuesday, 8 p.m., at USC's Bovard Auditorium. Information: (213) 740-7111 . . .

Also out with a new CD is bassist John Patitucci, whose quintet--featuring drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and keyboardist John Beasley--opens a six-night stand at Catalina Bar & Grill on Tuesday.

Underpinned by a symphony of animated African, Caribbean and Latin rhythms, "Another World" (GRP) spotlights uninhibited performances by such contemporary jazz luminaries as Beasley, saxman Michael Brecker, percussionist Alex Acuna and bassist Armand Sabal-Lecco.

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