Directions - 1980
To satiate his fans during his "retirement" in the late 70s, Columbia issued two fine rarities collections that focused on the rarely-heard (at that time) transitional periods of Miles Davis' career, Circle in the Round, which chronicled the years 1955-1970, and Directions, which covered 1960-1970. While Circle in the Round is notable for containing an all-acoustic version of Sanctuary, a tune that was later re-recorded in full electric glory for Bitches Brew, as well as a hauntingly majestic rendition of David Crosby's Guennevere, Directions simply overflows with gems from Miles' late 60s fusion peak - the rare period before everyone else fell in line and the road belonged to Miles alone. The Complete In A Silent Way and Jack Johnson session box sets have since collected most of the tunes on Directions, however this double LP places them in a context that illustrates Miles' transformation like neither of the sessions sets could, simply because it speeds up the process. Highlights include the tightly-wound funk morsel "Duran" featuring a smokin' John McLaughlin and "Willie Nelson" in all its wah-wah glory. Dig it now.
*Another fine Slidewell contribution. Thanks again to him for sharing the wealth with The Heat Warps.