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In Remembrance of: Benjamin Henry, Eva Burrell, Eric Paul Jackson, Bertha Smith, Leon Guitry, Jackie Hall
By Richard Henry on February 13, 2011

Miles Davis is known to many around the world. His influence and popularity has mesmerized music fans everywhere. Miles was at the forefront of some of the most important developments in jazz music. His trumpet playing amazed audiences and his album Kind of Blue is the best-selling jazz album of all time. Bitches Brew Live features rare performances from the 1969 Newport Jazz Festival and 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. Its nine rare live performances comprise repertoire from the studio album and the one that preceded it, 1969ís In A Silent Way. The live tracks were recorded at festivals nine months before Bitches Brewís release. This album is sure to please many jazz fans as it lets you inside the mind, evolution and personality of Miles Davis.

Drums that kick off in high gear begin the first track Miles Runs The Voodoo Down. Miles Davis starts playing on the trumpet confidently. His sound is bold, bright and intelligent. Davis is effective at creating one of a kind melodic lines on the trumpet which you did not think could be played on trumpet. There is a moment when the outstanding groove just gets going without any trumpet and you can hear the bass and keyboards very well. The trumpet sound is sustained during key points in the music thatís just breathtaking. Cool and crazy sounds are heard from Chick Corea on keyboard. You can hear an astounding, hollow, vibrant effect from the music that fills your ears with incredible sound.

Fast drum beats get the motor going in the third track Itís About That Time/The Theme. You can hear the soft, slightly sinister keyboard playing as well. Davis comes in on trumpet, matching the energy and vibe of the music. He is playing trills and staccato notes for a while. Then he unleashes a tornado of sound on trumpet. His chromaticism on trumpet fits in well with the exciting whirl wind of sound going on around him. The music is remarkably fast paced with little rest. In this tune, the keyboards are featured as Corea plays with endless musical ideas. His notes on keyboard has the tension that is heard throughout this whole tune. Throughout much of this piece, the trumpet is not heard but comes back towards the end.

A funky beginning incorporates strange resonating sounds in the fifth track Bitches Brew. The sound is just getting started without much rhythm at the beginning. When everything gets going, the trumpet is on fire and the music has a serious bounce to it. This track is not for the faint of heart as the music doesnít always stay in motion and transforms into another creature as you continue listening. An eerie feel can be heard, especially in the electronic sounds. This piece is heavily influenced by rock improvisation. The electric guitar is used in a fantastic manner that gives this tune an edgy experience. This piece almost reminds you of a far out adventure into the realms of space itself. The trumpet moves with the flow as Miles Davis is very aware of subtle mood changes in his music and it shows in his playing.

An incredible rock style beat is heard at the beginning of the eighth track Spanish Key. The drive and force of this piece is in hyper-drive from the start. Bluesy notes are heard on the saxophone as it adds to the astounding feel of this tune. Dazzling runs are played with amazing virtuosity on saxophone. Electronic sounds are heard in this tune that keeps the musical movement in motion. The guitar and bass play by themselves for a while which adds power to the music. Miles Davis plays the trumpet at the same time all of the music is playing. Many things are going on in this piece at the same time. You have electronic instruments, trumpet, saxophone and drums playing all at once. The mood changes and the intensity picks up as the piece goes on. A true rock inspired jazz piece.

Bitches Brew was an influential album in the way it used elements of rock. Miles Davis seemed to incorporate rock into his jazz compositions more than any other jazz musician. This album is true jazz and is electrifying in every way. Milesí mastery of the trumpet is heard on this album as you can also hear his evolution of sound. Once you listen to this album, youíre automatically taken to a musical land that holds treasures of musical creativity. This album is loaded with spectacular runs, dynamic improvisation and restless drum beats. Miles Davis pushed the envelope of what you can do with jazz and we are still benefiting from this today. Thank you Miles Davis.

Bitches Brew Live CD Review
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