In a contemporary review for Entertainment Weekly, critic David Hajdu gave the album an "A" and said that it is "simply the most exquisite music of tragedy this side of a New Orleans funeral. Don't be mistaken though: This ain't no party. Nor is it a career-summing work of miraculous late-life virtuosity. It's something even rarer: an almost unbearably honest musical expression, without apology or shame, of weakness, age, and pain."Q magazine found the sound thin, but funky and strong. In a less enthusiastic review for Vibe magazine, Greg Tate found Davis' playing occasionally sketchy and felt that the recreations are not on-par with Evans' original arrangements: "[T]he compressed nature of this document—even its shadowy relationship to the original—only serves to highlight the nova-like luminosity of Gil and Miles's work together."
In a retrospective review, Allmusic's Ron Wynn wrote that "not every moment is golden, but the overall session ranks just a bit below the majestic '50s and '60s dates featuring Davis' trumpet and Evans' arrangements." In The Penguin Guide to Jazz, Richard Cook and Brian Morton said that the exaggerated arrangements are redeemed by the audience's enraptured reception and Davis' musical ideas, if not his labored solos: "Jones hails Miles Davis as a 'great painter' and that is exactly what he was. He left some masterpieces, some puzzling abstracts, and a pile of fascinating sketches."