Miles Davis

The Cellar Door Sessions 1970

Debates about the endurance of Miles’ prog-funk fusion continue—as, apparently, do the reissues. Whether you’ll feel good shelling out a hundred bones for this six-disc collection will depend on whether you’ve had enough of Live-Evil, the album on which morsels of these sets originally appeared, or you couldn’t get enough. Here’s what Miles meant when he threatened to assemble “the greatest fucking rock band you ever heard,” and it has as much stamina and spunky fury as can be expected of any 1970 concert album. The sets do feel like they’re of historic significance, not least for offering a record of Keith Jarrett having at the Fender Rhodes, an instrument he later renounced. They’re also poignantly useful for mapping some of the final preparations Miles made before completely checking out.