Miles Davis – Bitches Brew And The Bitches Brew Sessions

miles davis bitches brew album cover

I don’t understand how this has become the best selling jazz album of all time? How can something so inaccessible be so adored? These are questions you can’t help but ask yourself when you listen to this. It’s not due to poor content, it’s just an album only a minority may be attracted to. It takes great influence from psychedelic rock and avant garde cross breeding with Miles’ already distinctive sound. This is what makes me find it difficult to see it be so successful, posing the question “where did these avant jazz fans suddenly come from?” Free jazz musicians had already been accomplished way before this release such as Ornette Coleman & even Miles’ own John Coltrane had showed free jazz tendencies. The difference between this and others before it is a whole perspective of musical ideology. The combination of an unorthodox recording procedure, electric instruments and new & various musical influences begin to explain the nature of the album and Miles’ persistence to explore and push boundaries. By now I hope you’ve guessed that this isn’t going to be an easy album to listen to but you’ll soon see why this album is held is such high regard.

As always Miles’ & his band perform huge musical improvisations usually based on psychedelic repetitive grooves echoing Santana’s early recordings but with much added intensity and experimentation. The overall tonality of the album really explores dark & haunting themes that on occasion can be explosive and quick paced such as my personal favourite track “Bitches Brew” in which Miles’ trumpet is coated in reverb, which when played echoes that of a person screaming which can send shivers down your spine. Such additions of doubling instruments can explain it’s complex and chaotic sounds such as using a double bass & electric bass, two drummers plus percussionists and two electric pianos (one piano player in each speaker). The lineup & standard of musicians is also fantastic with some of the my favourite musicians in jazz featuring on the album such as Weather Report’s Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter contributed their own material.

Miles really accomplished something fantastically new and timeless with this album but not all credit can be handed to Miles, it’s also producer Teo Macero who shaped the album by splicing various sections of songs to one another and adding all sorts of instrument effects making him equally as crucial to the end result.

This won’t be for everything but I insist you’ll be missing something extremely special if you don’t check it out. It’s certainly one of my favourite albums and it truly deserves its high praise.

Miles Davis – The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions

If you’ve escaped with your life and sanity from hearing the original Bitches Brew and are looking for more, this is great value for money and a great way to extend your listening to see the whole picture of one of the greatest and more innovative albums ever recorded. It includes many more contributions from Joe Zawinul and plenty more of Miles Davis. The original album is a landmark in jazz history and two more discs are a great way to appreciate it.

However….If you haven’t heard the original album I suggest you do before purchasing the set as it certainly may not be your cup of tea. But if you think you’ve got an open enough mind you may certainly enjoy this. It’s certainly essential listening for jazz fans but more so a great addition to a collection for everyone else.

This is a guest contribution by Cozzy , who likes to educate people in the ways of Prog. You can catch him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: