Monday, 6 April 2020

Monday Long Song

The extraordinary 'Bitches Brew' by Miles Davis was released 50 years ago last week. It's particularly extraordinary because even from a vantage point of 2020, so much of the music contained on the double LP still sounds as if it's beamed in from fifty years in the future. You can call it jazz, you can call it jazz-rock, you can call it fusion, you could describe it as deeply funky, ambient, experimental electronic musique concrète - all those terms might well apply, yet are also simultaneously wide of the mark.

Using a band bolstered by such luminaries as Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea and Joe Zawinul, the basic tracks were recorded across three days in the Summer of 1969, before being subject to a groundbreaking series of edits, splices, effects and loops in post-production by Miles and his producer Teo Macero. There's nothing quite like it.

Miles Davis - Pharaoh's Dance


Swiss Adam said...

It's a groundbreaking and mad album. There are parts of it I can't fully get my head around but some of it is so beyond, so good, its unreal.

Walter said...

I can't remember when I listened the last time to Bitche's Brew. As Adam said a groundbreaking album full of new sounds that made my look on music different. Superb stuff.

Ramone666 said...

Amazing album. Only In A Silent Way gets more plays around here.

Brian said...

It's funny what one remembers, but I recall vividly seeing this album in the bin the first time I ever stepped foot in a record store. I was 12 or so. I stared at that cover for quite a while trying to make sense of it, and I would have this strange and curious feeling whenever I saw it on the store shelves throughout my teen years. I didn't know Miles from anybody, and I don't think I ever heard a note of it until I was in my early 30s. Somehow, the sounds did seem right for the image.

The Swede said...

Swiss Adam. That's the beauty of it - I'm still discovering new elements all these years later.

Walter. It takes me to a different place every time I play it.

Ramone666. A tough call - like picking your favourite child.

Brian. Bitches Brew is one of those LPs (other examples from my back pages are things like 'Raw Power', 'Nadir's Big Chance' and 'Trout Mask Replica') that I didn't altogether 'get' at the time of purchase, but instinctively knew that there was something important going on and that perseverance would ultimately be rewarded (actually the struggle with sections of 'Trout Mask' continues to this day!). Thinking back, it's funny how many of those examples were picked up at least partially because of the striking sleeve art.

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