January 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Miles Smiles, the second of five albums recorded by Miles Davis and his Second Great Quintet featuring tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams. In advance of that date, Columbia and Legacy Recordings will issue the fifth volume of Davis’ acclaimed, ongoing Bootleg Series: Freedom Jazz Dance. The October 21 release will trace Davis’ evolution in the studio from 1966 to 1968, tapping the original session tapes for rehearsals, partial and alternate takes, studio chatter and more.
The 3-CD Freedom Jazz Dance includes the master takes of performances which appeared on Miles Smiles (1967), Nefertiti (1968) and Water Babies (recorded 1967, released 1976) alongside over two hours of previously unreleased studio recordings from original sessions produced by Teo Macero (with the exception of “Fall,” produced by Howard A. Roberts). In the case of Miles Smiles, this set marks the first time that the full session reels – every moment of music and in-studio talk – for an entire Miles Davis album have been released. “Circle,” “Orbits,” “Dolores” and “Freedom Jazz Dance” were recorded at Columbia’s 30th Street Studio in New York City on October 24, 1966. “Gingerbread Boy” and “Footprints” were recorded there the following day, October 25, 1966.
“Masqualero” (which originally appeared on Davis’ Sorcerer LP) is heard in a previously unreleased alternate take recorded at 30th Street on May 17, 1967. “Water Babies” and “Nefertiti” were recorded there on June 7, 1967. “Fall” (originally released on Nefertiti) was cut at the studio on July 19, 1967. Complete session reels for “Water Babies”, “Nefertiti” and “Fall” are included in the box. “Country Son”, heard in a previously unreleased rhythm-section-only rehearsal, was recorded at Columbia’s Studio B in New York City on May 15, 1968. Another rare find here is “Blues in F (My Ding),” a home recording featuring Davis at the piano, demonstrating a new blues to Wayne Shorter.
Miles Davis Quintet: Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 5 box set was produced for release by the Grammy-winning team of Steve Berkowitz, Michael Cuscuna and Richard Seidel. The album was mixed from the original four-track master tapes and mastered by Grammy Award winning engineer Mark Wilder in July at Sony’s Battery Studios. Jazz historian Ashley Kahn has written the new liner notes, and the booklet also features interviews with Ron Carter and Wayne Shorter.
In addition to more than two hours of previously unreleased studio sessions, the collection includes “Blues in F (My Ding),” a rare and unique home recording featuring Miles, demonstrating on piano a new blues he was working on to Wayne Shorter.
Miles Davis Quintet: Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series, Vol 5 includes revelatory behind-the-scenes liner notes penned by Grammy Award-winning Ashley Kahn, author of Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece, as well as new interviews with Quintet members Ron Carter and Wayne Shorter.
Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5 arrives from Columbia/Legacy on October 21 and can be pre-ordered at the links below!
Miles Davis Quintet, Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 5 (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada Links TBD)
- Freedom Jazz Dance (Session Reel)
- Freedom Jazz Dance (Master Take)
- Circle (Session Reel)
- Circle (Take 5)
- Circle (Take 6)
- Dolores (Session Reel)
- Dolores (Master Take)
- Orbits (Session Reel)
- Orbits (Master Take)
- Footprints (Session Reel)
- Footprints (Master Take)
- Gingerbread Boy (Session Reel)
- Gingerbread Boy (Master Take)
- Nefertiti (Session Reel)
- Nefertiti (Master Take)
- Fall (Session Reel)
- Fall (Master Take)
- Water Babies (Session Reel)
- Water Babies (Master Take)
- Masqualero (Alt. Take 3)
- Country Son (Trio Rehearsal)
- Blues in F (My Ding)
- Play Us Your Eight (Miles Speaks)