3. MILES DAVIS — BITCHES BREW
It shimmers, it growls. It moans and howls. There is glowing radiance and dirty work.
With this double album—sometimes mesmerising and occasionally jolting—Miles Davis changed both jazz and popular music. Having done cool, modal and progressive (all that restlessness!), Miles and producer Teo Macero engineered this vast work from jams, improvisations and compositions played in the studio by a large cast of musicians, most of whom became major players in the emerging jazz-rock scene. Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter formed Weather Report, Chick Corea created Return To Forever, John McLaughlin lit the fuse of Mahavishnu Orchestra.
Davis absorbed the white-hot energy of eruptions in soul and funk, the exploratory psychedelia of Jimi Hendrix, and the spirit of musical adventure wafting through the early years of the new decade. Bitches Brew isn’t easy work to begin with, but it pays generously. There’s a bonus, too: the fabulous, powerful cover art by Mati Klarwein (featured previously here, with extra info).
In his (almost as legendary) cover notes, Ralph J. Gleason wrote,
it will never be the same again now, after in a silent way and after BITCHES BREW. listen to this. how can it ever be the same?
For those wanting more more more Brew, the Columbia ‘Complete’ series are sprawling, fascinating documents of the master’s explorations. The Bitches Brew release is almost overwhelming in content, but revelatory too. (I believe a two-LP set of session material is slated for the upcoming RSD.)
Have you sampled this heady brew?