Bitches Brew: Legacy Edition [2CD/1DVD]

Bitches Brew: Legacy Edition [2CD/1DVD]

by Miles Davis
     
 

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Thought by many to be among the most revolutionary albums in jazz history, Miles Davis' Bitches Brew solidified the genre known as jazz-rock fusion. It being the jazz album to most influence jazz, rock, and funk musicians after 1970, by its very nature it is legend. The original double LP included only six cuts and featured up to 12 musicians at any given time,

Overview

Thought by many to be among the most revolutionary albums in jazz history, Miles Davis' Bitches Brew solidified the genre known as jazz-rock fusion. It being the jazz album to most influence jazz, rock, and funk musicians after 1970, by its very nature it is legend. The original double LP included only six cuts and featured up to 12 musicians at any given time, some of whom were already established while others would become high-profile players later: Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter, Airto, John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Don Alias, Bennie Maupin, Larry Young, and Lenny White among them. Originally thought to be a series of long jams locked into grooves around keyboard, bass, or guitar vamps, Bitches Brew is actually a recording that producer Teo Macero assembled from various jams by razor blade; splice to splice, section to section. "Pharaoh's Dance" opens the set with its slippery trumpet lines, McLaughlin's snaky guitar figures skirting the edge of the rhythm section, and Don Alias' conga slipping through the middle. Corea's and Zawinul's keyboards create a haunted, riffing modal groove, echoed and accented by the basses of Harvey Brooks and Holland. The title cut was originally composed as a five-part suite, though only three were used. Here the keyboards punch through the mix, big chords ring up distorted harmonics for Davis to solo rhythmically over, outside the mode. McLaughlin comps a vamp, and the bass and drums carry the rest. It's a small taste of the deep voodoo funk to appear on Davis' later records. Side three opens with McLaughlin and Davis trading fours and eights over a lock-step, hypnotic vamp on "Spanish Key." Zawinul's lyric sensibility provides a near-chorus for Corea to flit around in; the congas and drummers juxtapose themselves against the basslines. It nearly segues into the brief "John McLaughlin," featuring an organ playing modes below arpeggiated blues guitar runs. The end of Bitches Brew, signified by the stellar "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down," reflects the influence of Jimi Hendrix, with its chunky, slipped chords and Davis playing a ghostly melody through the shimmering funkiness of the rhythm section. It seemingly dances, becoming increasingly more chaotic until it nearly disintegrates before shimmering into a loose, foggy nadir. The disc closes with "Sanctuary," completely redone here as a moody electric ballad, reworked for this band; but it keeps enough of its integrity to be recognizable. Bitches Brew is so forward thinking, it retains its freshness and mystery in the 21st century. [Sony Legacy's Deluxe Edition contains three CDs and a DVD. These remasters from the original eight track tapes contain two newly discovered and previously unreleased alternate takes of "Spanish Key" and "John McLaughlin." Also included are the 45 edits of "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down," "Spanish Key," "Great Expectations," and "Little Blue Frog." The 71-minute DVD called Copenhagen Live 1969, includes a complete performance by a quintet that includes Shorter, Corea, Holland, and DeJohnette, three months prior to the release of Bitches Brew. The arrangements of the album's tunes are scaled down; the playing is freer, further outside than the recordings. In addition, some of Davis' previous quintet numbers are given some eclectic, electric treatments, including "I Fall in Love Too Easily," "Directions," and "Agitation." The DVD's quality is sonically fine, though visually a bit grainy around the edges, though it doesn't hinder enjoyment at all. The booklet comes with a new liner essay by Greg Tate that takes a completely different cultural tack compared to Legacy's other Davis reissues.]

Product Details

Release Date:
08/31/2010
Label:
Sony Legacy
UPC:
0886975451920
catalogNumber:
754519
Rank:
28196

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Miles Davis   Primary Artist,Trumpet
Ron Carter   Bass
Jack DeJohnette   Drums
Herbie Hancock   Electric Piano
Dave Holland   Bass,Electric Bass
Bennie Maupin   Bass Clarinet
John McLaughlin   Guitar
Wayne Shorter   Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Larry Young   Organ,Celeste,Electric Piano
Steve Grossman   Soprano Saxophone
Lenny White   Drums
Don Alias   Conga,Drums
Airto Moreira   Berimbau,Cuica
Joe Zawinul   Electric Piano
Khalil Balakrishna   Sitar
Harvey Brooks   Electric Bass
Billy Cobham   Drums,Triangle
Armando Anthony Corea   Electric Piano
Jumma Santos   Conga,Shaker
Bihari Sharma   Tabla,Tambura

Technical Credits

Miles Davis   Composer
Wayne Shorter   Composer
Joe Zawinul   Composer
Sammy Cahn   Composer
Michael Cuscuna   Producer,Liner Notes
Frank Laico   Engineer
Teo Macero   Producer
Richard Seidel   Producer,Liner Notes
Jule Styne   Composer
Mark Wilder   Remixing
Frank Harkins   Art Direction
Mathieu Bitton   Art Direction
Greg Tate   Liner Notes
Michael Kull   Tape Research
Jeremy Holiday   Packaging Manager
Nell Mulderry   Product Development
Steve Berkowitz   Executive Producer
Stanley Tonkel   Engineer

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