🎷 Jazz AOTW Miles Davis - BITCHES BREW

How Would You Rate This Album?


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Captain Bacardi

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Miles Davis
BITCHES BREW
Columbia Records PG 26
55f0793509a07af9e3447110.L._SX300_.jpg

Released 1970

Peaked at #1 on the Jazz Album chart, #4 on the R&B Album chart and #35 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart (1970)

Produced by Teo Macero

Songs:
1. Pharaoh's Dance (Joe Zawinul) - 20:07​
2. Bitches Brew (Miles Davis) - 27:00​
3. Spanish Key (Miles Davis) - 17:30​
4. John McLaughlin (Miles Davis) - 4:23​
5. Miles Runs The Voodoo Down (Miles Davis) - 14:03​
6. Sanctuary (Wayne Shorter) - 10:54​

Musicians:
Miles Davis - Trumpet
Wayne Shorter - Soprano Sax
Lenny White - Drums
Bennie Maupin - Bass Clarinet
Chick Corea - Electric Piano
Jim Riley - Percussion
Jack DeJohnette - Drums
Harvey Brooks - Fender Bass
Charles Alias - Drums
Dave Holland - Bass
John McLaughlin - Electric Guitar
Joe Zawinul - Electric Piano (2, 3, 5)
Larry Young - Electric Piano (1, 3, 4, 5)

Engineered by Frank Laico and Stan Tonkel
Art Direction: Arnold Levine and Ron Jaramillo
Cover Painting: Mati Klarwein

This album has been reissued a few times with bonus tracks, as well as a complete box set (highly recommended!). The album is available at Amazon.com (with song samples): http://www.amazon.com/Bitches-Brew-Miles-Davis/dp/B00000J7SS/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1370579319&sr=1-1&keywords=miles davis bitches brew



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Captain Bacardi

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The record that changed the sound of jazz forever. I first heard this album when I was in high school in the early 70's, and I think it was my first"wtf?" moment I ever had. At first listen it was a bunch of squeaks and squawks by Miles on trumpet. But after listening to this much closer the album really grew on me. I was entranced by the rhythm section anchored by Jack DeJohnette and Dave Holland. The splashes of Bennie Maupin's bass clarinet and the comps of Chick Corea along with Joe Zawinul and/or Larry Young really grabbed me. "Spanish Key" is my favorite track. It just grooves throughout the entire song. I probably know "John McLaughlin" better than most tunes since radio stations played it more than the other tracks simply because it was the shortest song.

I think it's amazing how well this album sold in its original format. The music scene was going through some interesting changes, with rock music expanding into a harder, edgier sound with the likes of Hendrix, the last couple of Beatles albums and the emergence of groups like Led Zeppelin. Music audiences seemed to gravitate more towards the newer sounds, no doubt helped by the reefer madness and other delights back then.

It's also interesting to note that much of this album, as well as later albums by Miles were spliced together by producer Teo Macero. The group would just play and play and play until they couldn't play anymore and Macero would go through the tapes meticulously until he put together the album. On the box set of this album there are tunes that appeared on other albums back in the 70's, such as Big Fun and later with Circle In The Round. Needless to say, this is a must-have album for any serious jazz fan.



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Rudy

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This album is certainly...interesting. :laugh: Can't say it's a favorite, but I "get it". I agree that "Spanish Key" probably has the best groove out of all of them, and "Miles Runs The Voodoo Down" has a groove that really does a nice slow-cook (and is probably my favorite song title of his too :laugh: ). It's one of those I have to be in the mood to hear, but when I do, I need to listen to the whole thing straight through. At least with my current setup in the car and on the portables, I can do that without any side changes or disc changes. (Although I would really like to own a good 180g vinyl version of this album!)

As far as a rockin' Miles album, his Tribute to Jack Johnson really hits the hardest. And as you mentioned, it is like the others in that Macero pieced it together after the fact. In A Silent Way was also a patch job, and to be honest, I do like the Panthalassa project that Bill Laswell did with these Miles tracks. He pretty much did the same thing as Macero--used the original tapes and pieced together his own version. It's different for sure, but it flows really nicely and IMHO is a nice new look at some familiar cuts.
 

nightcat

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I agree with Rudy that "Miles Runs The Voodoo Down" has a great groove and to me is the most interesting track on the entire album. It's funny how normal this lp sounds today. When it was released, it was certainly a radical sound.
 

Rudy

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Thanks for the note, @nightcat ! I think what attracts me today is that the album was remastered, which got rid of the terribly muddy sound that earlier versions had. That was actually a turn-off for me. Clarity is much improved, and it is easier to hear all of the activity going on behind Miles. The previous versions (even the earlier CD versions) sounded like someone kept a cassette recorder running in a corner of the room for hours on end.

So, I'm actually going to break down and get a vinyl copy of this one. :laugh:
 
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