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Miles Davis - Big Fun CD (album) cover

BIG FUN

Miles Davis

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.26 | 65 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Miles Davis' 1969-1975 'electric' period may best be summed up by the brilliant 'Bitches Brew' album, but, together with this 1974 release and a handful of other furiously-experimental studio-and-live-albums from the period - 'In A Silent Way', 'Jack Johnson' and 'On The Corner' to name a few - you have the absolute apex of the jazz-fusion genre. 'Big Fun' features a stellar cast of musicians, with Herbie Hancock, Billy Cobham, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Josef Zawinul, Dave Holland, Bernie Maupin, Steve Grossman and Larry Young just a few of the names that helped Davis shape and craft this beautifully-constructed jazz-rock odyssey, and, the level of musicianship is, at times, mind-blowing in it's improvisational brilliance. A plethora of strange sounds, rhythms and melodies eminate from a richly-textured set of rock-tinged fusion soundscapes, with electric sitars, bubbling synths, exotic percussion and Miles trademark wah-wah trumpet constructing a sonic tapestry of sounds that journey far into outer-regions of as yet un-charted 'rock' territory. The gorgeous, Indian-flecked ethnic-fusion psychedelia of 'Great Expectations' shows just how eclectic Miles pallette has become, with the material on 'Big Fun' experimenting with both faster, rock-funk orientated numbers and slower, more serene pieces. This intense trail-blazing would eventually cut a path for a group of highly-talented fusion followers to make their Miles-inspired mark. John McLaughlin would form the energetic Mahavishnu Orchestra and produce two superb albums with 'Inner Mounting Flame' and 'Birds Of Fire'.Chick Corea would give us Return To Forever, whilst, across the Atlantic ocean the likes of Soft Machine and Nucleus would brew up their own anglicised sounds, with the former progressing from Psychedelic pop into full-blown jazz-fusion group in just a few short years. 'Big Fun' was, in his own way, Miles Davis acknowledging these inspired new groups and revealing the extent of the possibilities on offer for such free-thinking musicians, of which he was the leader. This 1974 release is a key part of this latter-period of Miles incredible career, building upon the mystical-jazz sounds of 'In A Silent Way' with stylistic nods to both James Brown's funk and the juddering guitars of Cream, Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd. However, with 'Big Fun', the journey became more infused with the exotic sounds of the east and west coast psychedelia. Once again the formula was expanded and, once again, the results were wonderful. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
stefro | 5/5 |

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