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One of a series of recordings culled from a 1965 engagement at a now-defunct Chicago nightclub, COOKIN' AT THE PLUGGED NICKEL features the classic mid-'60s Davis band--Wayne Shorter (sax), Tony Williams (drums), Ron Carter (bass) and Herbie Hancock (piano). The playing throughout is ferocious and loose, Williams in particular burning the house down with his lush, driving cymbal work. Blowing with wild abandon, Miles is here just beginning to explore the looser structures that would eventually dominate his music beginning with IN A SILENT WAY and BITCHES BREW. Generally, the band spends very little time worrying about following the melody, or even the chord changes, of a tune, instead diving headfirst into full-tilt improvisation. Although there are a few tender moments, notably the very beautiful opening measures of "Stella by Starlight," the playing here is not what one could call subtle. Exciting, unhindered music, LIVE AT THE PLUGGED NICKEL is a good example of straight hard bop at it's most raucous.
- My Funny Valentine
- Blues By Five
- Tune Up/When Lights Are Low