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Miles Davis - Big Fun CD (album) cover

BIG FUN

Miles Davis

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.28 | 104 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

This is an album I long ignored, not exactly involuntarily, partly because I associated it more to On The Corner (which not my fave Miles), mainly because of the artwork and the release date. But I became aware of the misleading release time of 73, when almost all of the sessions took place before, during and after the Bitches Brew sessions (between Nov 69 and March 70) but with two Indian instrumentalists invited, except for the track on side 2 (this is also valid for the bonus tracks of the remater), which strangely enough dates of June 72, which features a very different line-up, but stays sonically fairly close to the rest of Big Fun.

The 7-mins Great Expectations opens the double album, with more or less the Bitches Brew crowd, but features two Indian sitar players, which give it its own flavour, but it is much quieter than anything on that groundbreaking BB album. On this first compact disc of this set, the bonus track 17-mins Zawinul-piece is a bit reminiscent of Silent Way, while the 6- mins Trevere is obviously from the same Expectations sessions, with the two Indian guests. As for the afore-mentioned 21-mins Ife track recorded in June 72, filling side B, only Bennie Maupin played on BB, but the piano is played by Lonnie Liston-Smith, who would released an outstanding Astral Travelling album the following year, in a more cosmic-jazz- rock vein, but well in the line of Ife.

The second disc opens up on the Davis-penned Go Ahead John, where he coaxes McL to go forward and assert himself, not only on this track, but to become a band leader, which he will do with Mahavishnu Orchestra. But here, although exuding more energy than the previous disc, something that can be said of its flipside companion piece Lonely Fire as well. Both bonus tracks are also within the boundaries drawn by the original album pieces.

While still an excellent studio release of Miles, Big Fun is a fairly quiet and low-key affair, lacking Bitches Brew's energy and inventive force, but I'm not sure that calling that name was all that wise, because I don't think that it is all that fun, and certainly not more so than the BB or JJ albums. It still remains an excellent double album, which is definitely worth acquiring in your second phase of explorations of Miles' electric music realm. It's also an excellent deal since the bonus tracks are plenty and rather meaty and in line of Big Fun's direction.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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