“Laura Nyro was a very quiet person offstage and I think I kind of frightened her,” wrote Miles Davis in Miles: The Autobiography, recalling his four-night stint supporting the Bronx-born singer-songwriter at promoter Bill Graham’s legendary Fillmore East venue in June 1970. Was it Miles the man or his music that spooked her? Sadly, we’ll never know, as Miles doesn’t elaborate, but Nyro’s fans might have been disconcerted, too, by the presence on the bill of the Prince Of Darkness and the prospect of being confronted by cutting-edge avant-garde sounds that couldn’t be easily identified as jazz, rock or pop. Leading a Bitches Brew-era group, Miles’ sets – which ranged from 40 minutes to an hour – comprised a mesmeric meld of febrile, exploratory funk and drifting, amorphous soundscapes.
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