Exposé Online banner

Miles Davis — The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions
(Columbia C4K 65570, 1970/1998, 4CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2017-07-20

The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions Cover art

I remember when I first got in this box set, there were a whole bunch of them that were defective because they inserted the discs into it before the glue dried and I had to sent it back at least once to get one that was fine. Anyway, Bitches Brew is one of my all-time favorite albums in its own right and I've gushed about it before, but this 4CD box set adds a lot of extra material to it as well as a remaster of the original tapes which cleared up the sound quite a bit (it's debatable whether this was to its success or detriment but I like both versions). The thing about Miles was — along with Teo Macero — he used the studio as a tool, often taping together various performances and such, so when the boxes began to roll out you started to see some of the pieces that were used in all of the experimenting. Bitches Brew covers disc 1 and a third or so of disc 2 but then comes a lot of great extra pieces as well as songs that would show up on Big Fun, Circle in the Round, and Live-Evil. I really adore this early electric period of Miles that was essentially birthed in 1969 (and Filles de Kilimanjaro and In a Silent Way) and continued on through 1970 as there were still hints of his second quintet period mixed in in all of the electricity before it started to get stripped away for the simpler and more starker variations of later line ups. And one thing you get from listening to this box is just how brilliant Miles was at creating and directing the various moods of different pieces. Overall what's so amazing is no matter how much you listen to this music it always sounds fresh, vital and ground breaking and it really set a high bar for musicianship at the time.


Filed under: Archives, 1998 releases, 1970 recordings

Related artist(s): Bennie Maupin, Lenny White, Jack DeJohnette, Miles Davis, John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Airto Moreira, Larry Young (Khalid Yasin Abdul Aziz)

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Progres 2 - Tretí Kniha Džunglí - Third Jungle Book – This was originally a double album released in 1981, and on CD it clocks in at a few seconds shy of 80 minutes! From Czechoslovakia, Progres 2 is at times symphonic, at times more electronic, at...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues