Friday, April 04, 2008
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Miles Davis
Album:Complete Bitches Brew Sessions
The 1970 Miles Davis album Bitches Brew was the first jazz album I ever listened to. At the time, Miles was chastised by jazz purists for selling out. But the album was always intended as a musical bridge between progressive rock, funk & jazz so the jazz purist wasn't the intended audience. By the late 60s, Miles Davis was already one of the most acclaimed & popular jazz musicians and he was making a good living. But he wanted to be bigger than jazz. His wife at the time Betty Mabry intoduced him to music by Jimi Hendrix, James Brown & Sly & The Family Stone. So Miles started experimenting with electric instruments. His usual pianists Herbie Hancock & Chick Corea hadn't played electric piano so he brought in Cannonball Adderley pianist Joe Zawinul along with guitarist John McLaughlin for the 1969 album In A Silent Way. Six months later he brought in more musicians and had producer Teo Macero use cut and paste editing to form Bitches Brew. The album was a huge success and became the best selling jazz album in history. Columbia has so much Miles Davis in their vault they may never release all of it. But they have been releasing the major works in comprehensive box sets. The 4CD Complete Bitches Brew Sessions was released in a metal box in 1998. The only change in the 2004 rerelease is the cardboard packaging. Lonely Fire was part of the Bitches Brew sessions but wasn't on the original album. It was released on the 1974 2LP set Big Fun that had previously unreleased tracks from various sources. Musicians are Wayne Shorter on tenor sax, Bennie Maupin on bass clarinet, Khalil Balakrishna on sitar, Chick Corea & Joe Zawinul on piano, Dave Holland on double bass, Harvey Brooks on Fender bass, Jack DeJohnette & Billy Cobham on drums and Airto Moreira on percussion. The music on Big Fun has a decidedly Indian flavour. Lonely Fire also appeared in the film Finding Forrester and was sampled by Notorious BIG. Miles Davis' music would quickly travel to other places especially funk but Bitches Brew is a landmark album and is essential listening. Here's Miles Davis performing Bitches Brew with Chick Corea, Dave Holland & Jack DeJohnette.