It may only be highlights and not a true full-on DVD release of Miles Davis’ live performances at Montreux (the accompanying booklet claims there is no such complete DVD release), Miles Davis: Live at Montreux 1973-1991 still accomplishes its goal – to showcase the work of a well-respected, incredibly talented gentle musician.
Miles Davis: Live at Montreux 1973-1991 opens with a sight as simple and innocent as Davis and his band standing on stage tuning their instruments, though when the band launches into the opening “Ife,” you’d be hard-pressed to not get goosebumps. Throughout the DVD’s performances, the picture quality doesn’t live up to as good as the sound quality (its blurry at times), but for the most part it’s not so much that the DVD suffers. “Jo Jo” and “Hannibal” are two highlights, but more often than not Davis himself as a musician is the standout. His abilities on the trumpet are bar none, which is something you’ll be quick to realize while watching, though if you go into Miles Davis: Live at Montreux 1973-1991 knowing anything about Davis, his sheer ability should be common knowledge. There are also two songs included from Sketches from Spain – “the Pan Piper” and “Solea.”
For bonus content, Miles Davis: Live at Montreux 1973-1991 offers an interview with Davis’ friend Carlos Santana, which isn’t all that bad, but there could’ve and should’ve have been more.
Seeing as how a complete DVD documentation of Davis’ live contributions throughout the years at Montreux hasn’t been released, perhaps one could be coming in the future. Until that day, Miles Davis: Live at Montreux 1973-1991 is good enough to serve as a stopgap.