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Miles Davis - Bitches Brew Live CD (album) cover


Miles Davis


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.60 | 12 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This live document covers two rare live performances from 1969 and 1970 respectively with two different lineups. It's called "Bitches Brew Live" because the bulk of the material is from that legendary album. The first show includes the first three tracks here and was recorded live at the Newport Jazz Festival in July of 1969. This would be the first and last time that the organizer brought in "Rock" bands. He did so because of declining ticket sales for the festival. It was successful because of the addition of LED ZEPPELIN, JETHRO TULL and others but he felt it wasn't worth the headache. He was really worried that there might be a riot and the whole weekend was very hectic for him.

The Miles Davis band played on the Saturday the same day as Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention and others. Wayne Shorter got stuck in traffic and missed this gig making this recording of a Miles Davis four piece a real rarity. Besides Davis we get DeJohnette on drums, Holland on bass and Corea on electric piano. The "Bitches Brew" sessions didn't take place until 6 weeks after this meaning that Miles was playing some of these songs before he recorded them, something he rarely did after 1963. "Miles Runs The Voodoo Down" is the first professionally recorded version of this track. "Sanctuary" is more laid back while "It's About That Time" from "In A Silent Way" is more intense with aggressive drumming and trumpet work. The crowd, much of whom had never heard electric Miles until then gives a huge ovation when the set is done.

The final six tracks are from the Isle Of Wight festival in the UK. Wayne Shorter had left by this time so we get the same foursome from the Newport Jazz Festival plus Keith Jarrett on organ, Gary Bartz on sax and Airto Moreira on percussion. It should be noted that they were the only Jazz band at this festival. It was a hot weekeknd in August of 1970 and they began to play as the sun was going down. This is a much heavier and more intense set than the one at Newport. Davis put Corea and Jarrett on opposite sides of the stage so they couldn't hear each other. Remember there was estimated to be 600,000 people here and in part Miles is here because of the success of "Bitches Brew" released some four months earlier. It was one of the best selling albums in Jazz history so gone were the days of Miles and his band playing in small clubs. This was as the liner notes state a "revolutionary moment" for Miles and the band to play in front of such a large audience.

For me the final six tracks surpass the recordings of the first three but it's cool to hear Miles as a four piece regardless. And i'll still take the "Bitches Brew" studio album over this recording but if your a "Bitches Brew" fan then you should really check this out.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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