(FORTUNE Magazine) – There's fusion, and there's fusion by Miles Davis. The subgenre Davis created with the release of his 1969 masterpiece In a Silent Way spawned a legion of dreadful imitators. This makes it all too easy to overlook the ambitious live albums that he recorded from 1970 to 1974. Imagine watching a two-hour movie being filmed before your eyes from beginning to end with no cuts and no second takes, and you have an idea of what Davis' live albums from this period are like. Columbia/Legacy has just reissued five of them--previously available only as overpriced imports. Dark Magus (two CDs, $23) is the standout. An intriguing collage of wah-wah pedals, tom-toms, and unclassifiable bursts of sound, Dark Magus is arguably the best live fusion album ever recorded. While not as polished as Davis' other studio sets such as In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew, this one has moments of raw brilliance that stand up to anything else in the massive Davis oeuvre. If you're ready to go where no other music will take you, you're ready for Dark Magus.

--Ed Brown