Released five years after Miles’s death and featuring music recorded between 1988 and 1991, Live Around The World is important because it offers listeners a chance to hear where most of the magic of Miles’s 1980s music happened – live on-stage. Put together using the soundboard tapes of Miles’s concerts, Live Around The World also gives fans a chance to hear some musicians who are not on official studio albums. Amongst the highlights are Kenny Garrett’s blistering sax solo on “Human Nature,” a rousing version of “Time After Time,” the funky “Wrinkle” and the moving “Hannibal,” taken from Miles’s last concert. One disappointment is that Warner Bros didn’t make this a double album, so that some of the tracks would not need such radical editing.
Excerpt from The Last Miles:
Live Around The World: On recording Miles’s last concert
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and you can be sure that if anyone had known that Miles’ performance at the Hollywood Bowl on 25 August 1991 would be his last, a video crew would have been dispatched to the stadium and probably a remote recording facility too. As it happened, this final performance was not even recorded professionally. Indeed, Miles’ concert sound mixer, Don Kurek didn’t even use a DAT [digital] recorder. Instead, he plugged an analogue Sony Walkman Pro deck into the mixing desk and in the words of road manager Gordon Meltzer: “ Recorded on the cheapest, one-dollar non-metal tape audio cassette you could get.” The resulting recording was dogged by tape hiss, pops and drop-outs (where the sound disappears because of blemishes on the tape’s oxide coating). Yet the producers of Live Around The World were able to salvage a recording that was good enough to include on a CD, and that was largely thanks to modern studio technology.