Big Fun

Big Fun

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by Miles Davis
     
 

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Despite the presence of classic tracks like Joe Zawinul's "Great Expectations," Big Fun feels like the compendium of sources it is. These tracks are all outtakes from other sessions, most notably Bitches Brew, On the Corner, and others. The other element is that many of these tracks appeared in different versions elsewhere

Overview

Despite the presence of classic tracks like Joe Zawinul's "Great Expectations," Big Fun feels like the compendium of sources it is. These tracks are all outtakes from other sessions, most notably Bitches Brew, On the Corner, and others. The other element is that many of these tracks appeared in different versions elsewhere. These were second takes, or the unedited takes before producer Teo Macero and Miles were able to edit them, cut and paste their parts into other things, or whatever. That is not to say the album should be dismissed. Despite the numerous lineups and uneven flow of the tracks, there does remain some outstanding playing and composing here. Most notably is "Great Expectations" from 1969, which opens the album. Here the lineup is Miles, Steve Grossman, Bennie Maupin, John McLaughlin, Khalil Balakrishna, and Bihari Sharma on sitar and tambura, Herbie, Chick Corea, Ron Carter, Harvey Brooks, Billy Cobham, and Airto. Creating a series of vamps from drones and a small melodic figure, there is very little in the way of groove or melodic development until the middle section, where a series of modalities enters the composition. The second album in the set features "Go Ahead John," an outtake from Jack Johnson's sessions that is 28 minutes in length. It's a riff-based groover, with McLaughlin and his wah-wah pedal setting the pace with Steve Grossman on soprano. The basic motif is the blues, floating around E and Bb flat, but there are modulations introduced by Miles into Db flat that add a kinkier dimension into the proceedings as well. Dave Holland is the bass player, and DeJohnette is the drummer. There is no piano. What's most interesting about this date is how it prefigures what would become "Right Off" from Jack Johnson. It doesn't have the same fire, nor does it manage to sustain itself for the duration, but there are some truly wonderful sections in the piece. This is for Miles fans only, especially those of his electric period, because it fills in the puzzle. The reissue added four bonus tracks to the original double-LP set, but other than "Recollections" by Zawinul, they shed little light on the mystique and development of the intensely creative music being developed in 1969 and 1970. Others should be directed to Bitches Brew, In A Silent Way, Jack Johnson, or Live Evil as starting points.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/01/2000
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0074646397329
catalogNumber:
63973

Related Subjects

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Great Expectations
  2. Ife
  3. Recollections
  4. Trevere

Disc 2

  1. Go Ahead John
  2. Lonely Fire
  3. The Little Blue Frog
  4. Yaphet

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Miles Davis   Primary Artist,Trumpet
Mtume   Percussion
Ron Carter   Bass
Jack DeJohnette   Drums,Snare Drums
Sonny Fortune   Flute,Soprano Saxophone,Soprano (Vocal)
Carlos Garnett   Soprano Saxophone
Herbie Hancock   Electric Piano
Billy Hart   Drums
Dave Holland   Bass,Electric Bass
Bennie Maupin   Clarinet,Flute,Bass Clarinet
John McLaughlin   Guitar,Electric Guitar,Guitar (Baritone)
Wayne Shorter   Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Lonnie Liston Smith   Piano
Larry Young   Organ,Celeste
Steve Grossman   Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
Airto Moreira   Percussion,Berimbau,Cuica,Indian Instruments
Joe Zawinul   Organ,Keyboards,Electric Piano,farfisa organ
Badal Roy   Tabla
Khalil Balakrishna   Percussion,Sitar,Tamboura,Electric Sitar,Indian Instruments
Harvey Brooks   Electric Bass,Bass Guitar
Billy Cobham   Drums,Triangle,Snare Drums
Armando Anthony Corea   Electric Piano
James Mtume   Percussion,African Percussion
Foster   Drums
Michael Henderson   Bass,Bass Guitar
Bihari Sharma   Percussion,Sitar,Tabla,Tamboura,Electric Sitar
Harold "Ivory" Williams   Piano,Sitar
Michael J. Henderson   Bass
Carlos Carnette   Soprano Saxophone
William Hart   Drums

Technical Credits

Bob Belden   Producer,Reissue Producer
Bennie Maupin   Liner Notes
John Guerriere   Remixing
Frank Laico   Engineer
Teo Macero   Producer
Russ Payne   Remixing
Stan Weiss   Remixing
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Randall Martin   Reissue Design
Seth Foster   Engineer
Rachel Dicono   Packaging Manager
Stanley Tonkel   Engineer

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Big Fun 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
glauver More than 1 year ago
Even though some of this music was recorded 40 years ago, it still sounds like no one has caught up to Miles Davis. Although the title is misleading (this isn't a party record), few artists made music this far ahead of their time. Much of it seems to float along without melody or beat yet something always seems to be happening. This set and Get Up With It make a good pair of 70s Miles fusion recordings, but I can't give On The Corner as high a recommendation. Here is some info that may interest other buyers. The first copy of this I ordered had a defective first disc. The B&N phone representative was very helpful in making an exchange and my second copy was OK.