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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Jazz > Miles Electric: A Different Kind Of Blue (DVD-Video)

Miles Electric: A Different Kind Of Blue (Documentary)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C+     Main Program: B



How much of a genius and innovator was Miles Davis?  Consider how complex Jazz is, then consider that he created a giant step forward for the genre by using electronic sound radically like nothing anyone had heard before.  Miles Electric: A Different Kind Of Blue is another solid Eagle Eye DVD release, which takes a bunch of new in-depth interviews with Herbie Hancock, Carlos Santana, Joni Mitchell, Chick Corea, Dave Liebman and Keith Jarrett among others and combines them with various stills, facts and footage with and about Davis.  In the middle of all of this is a 33-minutes-long sequence of Davis and company playing the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970. 


Not only is that a highlight and exceptionally impressive, we get a history of Davis taking Jazz to that electric level, form a 1964 performance captured on black and white videotape to the release and controversy over the landmark Bitches Brew album.  There are so many Davis albums out on CD, plus DVD-Audio and SACD, but this is a very welcome DVD-Video that event he most hardcore fans will want to own.  Those who do not know anything about Davis should consider this mandatory viewing, especially if they claim to know anything about music.  True music lovers will really appreciate its intelligence, and the music itself is still incredible decades later.


The full frame 1.33 X 1 image varies throughout, but is cleaner than documentary programs like this usually are, mixing newly taped interviews with a great wealth of classic and archival footage.  The sound is available in PCM 2.0 Stereo with some Pro Logic surround activity, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1, all of which are not bad, but the DTS shows the limits of the varied music sources throughout.  This is just one of those cases more than usual where you will have to listen to all of them before making a choice that suits you, though the PCM is the purest version.  Extras include a DVD-ROM only Sessionography on the beginning of his “electric” period of 1967 - 1975 and additional interviews for the main program that did not make the 90-miinutes-long cut.  This lasts about a half-hour in total.  There is also a nice foldout poster with text on the other side of a monochrome image of Davis in boxing shorts, seated in a boxing ring.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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