Merci, Miles! Late-Period Concert from Jazz Legend Released in June

'Merci, Miles! Live in Vienne'
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Warner Records/Rhino

While known the world over as an icon of jazz, Miles Davis' impact on soul music is hard to overstate - particularly toward the end of his career, when the trumpeter began casting pop and R&B songs into his own unique style.

On June 25, a new concert release will showcase that phase of his work. Merci, Miles! Live at Vienne is a powerful late-period statement - in fact, one of the last recordings of Miles before his death on September 1991. Recorded at the Vienne Jazz Festival in France - a trip that included the artist becoming a Knight of the Legion of Honor overseas - the set eschews his classics of the '50s, '60s and '70s in favor of tracks from his then-most recent album Amandla (1989) and a few pop covers he'd added into his repertoire in the past decade (Michael Jackson's "Human Nature," Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time").

For Prince fans, there's a few hidden treats on the set list as well. "Penetration" and "Jailbait" were composed by the late legend, intended for an unreleased third album by his jazz fusion project Madhouse. (In 2020, Prince and Miles' most notable collaborations - the track "Can I Play with U?" and Miles' appearance at a live show at Paisley Park in 1987 - were included on a massive box set devoted to the Sign O' the Times album.)

Ashley Kahn, a well-known and Grammy-winning jazz historian, has written new liner notes for this package. It'll be available on CD or vinyl, with pre-orders featuring an exclusive poster and postcard with purchase.

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