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Bitches Brew Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

4.5 out of 5 stars 293 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, June 8, 1999
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The revolution was recorded: in 1969 Bitches Brew sent a shiver through a country already quaking. It was a recording whose very sound, production methods, album-cover art, and two-LP length all signaled that jazz could never be the same. Over three days anger, confusion, and exhilaration had reigned in the studio, and the sonic themes, scraps, grooves, and sheer will and emotion that resulted were percolated and edited into an astonishingly organic work. This Miles Davis wasn't merely presenting a simple hybrid like jazz-rock, but a new way of thinking about improvisation and the studio. And with this two-CD reissue (actually, this set is a reissue of the original set plus one track, perfect for the fan who's not so overwhelmed as to need the four-CD Complete Bitches Brew box), the murk of the original recording is lifted. The instruments newly defined and brightened, the dark energy of the original comes through as if it were all fresh. Joe Zawinul and Bennie Maupin's roles in the mix have been especially clarified. With a bonus track of "Feio"--a Wayne Shorter composition recorded five months later that serves both as a warm-down for Bitches Brew and a promise of Weather Report to come--this is crucial listening. --John F. Szwed
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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30
20:04
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30
26:59
Album Only
Disc 2
1
30
17:32
Album Only
2
30
4:22
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14:01
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 8, 1999)
  • Rmst ed. edition
  • Original Release Date: June 8, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • ASIN: B00000J7SS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (293 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,281 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
This review is for the DVD only. The music on the CDs has been written about extensively for 40 years but the few out-takes are great discoveries from the vaults.

The DVD is a satisfying 70 minutes long and encompasses an entire performance by the Miles Davis Quintet of November 1969, in Copenhagen. The public wouldn't hear the recorded Bitches Brew material for several more months. At this time Miles's band consisted of Wayne Shorter on tenor and soprano sax, Chick Corea on Fender Rhodes, Dave Holland on acoustic bass, Jack DeJohnette on drums and Miles himself on trumpet. This is an artist in the midst of a great transformation. Gone are the suits of respectable jazzmen of the mid-1960s and in are the clothes of the hippy generation but not to the degree that would come in the following years when Miles would adopt his Sly Stone-type look. The music is almost entirely original, with only a short performance "I Fall In Love Too Easily" making it into the set. The only electric instrument present is the Fender Rhodes, which Chick Corea is becoming comfortable with at this point. This performance is a taste of what's to come in the next few months. This seems relatively tame compared to the Live at the Fillmore East from March 7th, 1970. That's why this is such a great document: A well-recorded video performance of a band that was changing every few months. The Isle of Wight concert from the next summer is even more unbridled, albeit with a few changes in the band.

The video quality is very good. The sound is good, except that the bass is mostly absent. It sticks out in some places but it's hard to hear (sorry Dave Holland fans). Overall it's a great presentation. The performance is top notch. A transitional step into Miles' electric age.
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Format: Audio CD
If you are considering purchasing this album and are not familiar with this period of Davis' career, be prepared for a unique listening experience. Note from the other reviews that b-BREW isn't universally loved...but its supporters now considerably outnumber the detractors. Nonetheless, newcomers are taking a chance, just as Davis and his sidemen did when they went into the studio to record b-BREW in 1969. If you do purchase this, allow 3-5 listens for it to sink in...few people really �get it� on their first exposure. Whatever you think it will sound like beforehand...it likely won�t sound anything like that!
There are a number of misconceptions about this album. For one, Miles was not selling out his musical talent (he was expanding his audience via performing at pop venues and modifying his albums� cover art; he did everything to make more money EXCEPT sacrificing the integrity of his music). Second, he wasn't tripping on substances (this era was actually the most drug-free, mentally strong, and physically healthy Davis was in his lifetime). Thirdly, Miles didn't retreat from spotlighting his sidemen and himself (there are plenty of distinctive solo improvisations that float above and within the loose ensemble playing). Fourth, this is not a rock or pop or a jazz/rock album (despite the electronic instrumentation, the music maintains a controlled abstraction that is more in line with that era's modern jazz than with most pop groups. Davis' means to this open end included many influences...rock & funk among them). Fifth, b-BREW was not widely rejected by music buyers (I believe it is Davis� 2nd all-time best-selling album behind KIND OF BLUE).
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Format: Audio CD
If you're wondering were to begin with the 'electric' period of Miles Davis, his jazz - rock fusion period, don't look any further. You just found it! Fans of fifties Miles and 'Kind of Blue' fans, a sign of warning - you'll be in for a surprise! And what a surprise it is! Listen to it with head - phones, that way you'll get the full satisfaction. Mind - blowing and timeless, for the jazz and none - jazz listener alike. I don't listen to jazz (well not a lot) so when I first heard it I was astonished. I had never heard anything like that before. Although the tracks are very long (up to 27 minutes for 'Bitches Brew'), all 94 minutes on the album will pass really quickly.
Don't expect to hear something mellow, this is dark, sometimes scary music for those late nights. The first time you listen to it you may not even like it, so it requires an open mind. There are hard rock rhythms with the fiery trumpet by Miles, the sax by Shorter, the 'screaming' guitar work by John McLaughlin, the driving beats of the drums by Jack DeJohnette, the piano by Zawinul...Wow! Song highlights include 'Bitches Brew', 'John McLaughlin' and 'Miles Runs The Voodoo Down'. This is the album that started a revolution, that started the fusion sound of the seventies that many other groups will follow , and for that it will always be considered as one the most important jazz albums ever.
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By A Customer on October 27, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Jazz is a remarkable musical style because of its innovation and adaptability. The man who personifies this the most is Miles Davis, for the groundbreaking Bitches Brew is, in every sense, fantastic!! I listened to the album for the first time last night and got blown away! Davis's masterful trumpet playing and Wayne Shorter's soprano sax, coupled with occasional clarinet from Bernie Maupin, give the album a wonderful horn section, Chick Corea and Joe Zawinul lend their keyboard talents, John McLaughlin plays an unparalelled guitar, and the rest of the band is superb! I think Disc 1 is slightly stronger then Disc 2, but the album is great when put togther. Pharoah's Dance and Bitches Brew are incredible experiments from an incredible band, Spanish Key and Miles Runs the Voodoo Down are joyous improvisations, John McLaughlin is a unique duet, and Sanctuary gives it a peaceful finish. But the most amazing part off this album is the attitude. These men must have known that the only way to make this LP good was to pour their heart into the music. The result was a milestone in both jazz and rock, a record that brings emotion to all who listen to it, and it all came from one man's head. Thank you, Miles.
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