For today's installment of "Miles on Monday," we revisit Davis' famous performance at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970.
First made available to the public only as part of a three-LP set documenting various performances from both the Isle of Wight and the contemporaneous Atlanta Pop Festival, it was somewhat notorious at the time of release for being a thoroughly uncompromising example of the dissonant space-funk that Davis was into during that period.
It's also the subject of an oft-cited story about Davis. When asked the title of the 35-minute, mostly improvised set the group had played, he reportedly told the record company's representative "Call it anything." And when the record came out, sure enough, that side was titled "Call It Anything."
At any rate, the Isle of Wight Festival was not only recorded in audio form, but also filmed, and so today we can watch as well as listen to a concentrated dose of Davis in his first electric phase along with Gary Bartz (soprano sax, alto sax), Chick Corea (electric piano), Keith Jarrett (organ), Dave Holland (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums), and Airto Moreira (percussion).
(Editor's note: It has come to my attention that the Mosaic Records Tumblr has for the past nine months had an occasional feature called "Miles for a Monday" that's basically the same idea as what we're doing here on StLJN. I didn't steal the idea from them - it's apparently just one of those things that's sufficiently obvious enough to be thought of independently by more than one person. Nevertheless, since they got there first, some sort of acknowledgement seemed to be in order, so please consider our hat tipped.)