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Bitches Brew - Miles Davis Album Review



Bitches Brew, released in 1970 by Miles Davis, is one of the most controversial, most influential albums ever released in the music history. Bitches Brew is an album including seven songs, with a length of 1 hour 45 mins, with an average track length of 15 minutes. The album is released in 1970, following MD's sheer experimentalist years.


In the end of 1960s, jazz music is perceived as a genre coming to an end, swing, bebop, cool, and now it was over. Even the superstar of jazz, Miles Davis's sold out albums was decreasing. This tragic state ended, again with the efforts of Miles Davis. Miles was working on experimentalist approaches to jazz, he was interested in electric pianos and guitars, rock-influenced arrangements, and complete improvisations. He made his debut with his new ideas in 1969, with In a Silent Way. The album was liked among the hippie community, but the jazz-listeners seemed to be confused and dazzled with the different style. However, the greater controversy was yet to come, with the release of Bitches Brew in 1970.


Bitches Brew included 15 musicians, 7 producers and Miles Davis, the composer. 7-8 of the musicians -varying song to song- were in the rhythm section. Davis gave the rhythm section the central role, like what rock groups did at the time. Miles Davis gave the musicians only simple chords and told them that they could play anything coming to their mind. Miles was the composer, he was directing the musicians, "I would direct, like a conductor ... While the music was developing I would hear something that I thought could be extended or cut back. So that recording was a development of the creative process, a living composition," he states. The recording sessions was such a different experience for the musicians. "If you’d asked me at the session what was going on, I would have told you that I didn’t have a clue," said Dave Holland, and Joe Zawinul's funny comment, "Everybody was very concentrated, trying to figure out what the fuck was going on." is simply explaining the different atmosphere in the recording sessions.


After the recordings, on of the most distincitve elements in Bitches Brew are added, which is editing. The editing process was crucial for Miles, he had tried editing the recordings beforehand in In a Silent Way, and now he was sure he must be using it to reach his ideal experimentalist album. Teo Macero, was the main producer and the main person responsible for editing. Following Miles's intstructions, added 19 edits to Pharaoh's Dance, 15 edits to Bitches Brew and so on.


The album sold more than 2 million copies and awarded in 1971 Grammies. The final production was a pure controversy for the jazz world. Bitches Brew separated the jazz lovers into ones calling the album, sheer creativity and uniqueness, and to ones calling it a bunch of noise or a sell out. Despite these, it is certain that Miles released this album intending to break the walls of outdated traditional jazz and to bring a new approach to jazz. This new approach will be later called fusion/jazz-rock and Bitches Brew will accepted by many as the on of the foremost and greatest fusion/jazz-rock albums in the history of music.

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