CD Reviews

MusicWeb International

Webmaster: Len Mullenger

Reviewers: Tony Augarde, Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

[ Jazz index ] [Nostalgia index]  [ Classical MusicWeb ] [ Gerard Hoffnung ]

AmazonUK   AmazonUS


The Lost Septet

Sleepy Night Records SNRCD020

[51:04 + 50:15]


CD 1


Honky Tonk

What I Say


CD 2

It’s About That Time


Funky Tonk

Sanctuary (Reprise)

Miles Davis (trumpet); Gary Bartz (soprano & alto sax); Keith Jarrett (electric piano, organ); Michael Henderson (electric bass); Ndugu Leon Chancler (drums); Charles Don Alias (percussion); James Mtume Foreman (percussion)

Recorded November 5th 1971, Wiener Konzerthaus, Vienna.

This 7 piece set doesn’t exist as a studio recording but was broadcast on radio at the time. I’ve read that it’s had a previous incarnation as a bootleg, but we can now by thankful to Sleepy Night Records for this first official digitalized release. It derives from a European Tour Miles Davis undertook, accompanied by an impressive line-up (Gary Bartz (soprano & alto sax); Keith Jarrett (electric piano, organ); Michael Henderson (electric bass); Ndugu Leon Chancler (drums); Charles Don Alias (percussion); James Mtume Foreman (percussion), in October/November 1971, the latter part of Davis’ career. This particular concert took place at the Wiener Konzerthaus in Vienna on November 5.

At the time, Davis was in the rock-orientated mode of his “Electric” period, heavily influenced by Jimmy Hendrix. So the music is an amalgam of rock and jazz – a period in the musician’s career some don’t feel drawn to. The tour featured music from ‘In a Silent Way’ , ‘ Bitches Brew’ , ‘ Jack Johnson ’ and ‘ Live Evil’ ; the latter was soon to be released. The album highlights another example of Davis moving on, always aware of modern trends. New paths are forged.

We open with Directions. Against a percussion kerfuffle, Davis enters the maelstrom with some acerbic improvisations. Gary Bartz’s stunning virtuosity is mightily impressive. The whole thing is blanketed by Jarrett on the organ. Sanctuary couldn’t be more different. It appears at the end of CD 1 and provides some balm and calm. It’s the perfect vehicle to showcase the kaleidoscopic colouristic range the various instruments radiate. It’s About that Time ushers in CD 2. Davis’ trumpet glistens and Bartz, who enters the fray not long after, is exemplary. Funk Tonk is a lengthy track at almost twenty minutes. It shows how highly creative the group are. I love the marvelous stippled effect the musicians create; it makes for an unusual sonority. The track, to me, sounded the most improvised of the album

The group are on top form, throughout, and the sound quality is first rate.

Stephen Greenbank

Return to Index