Miles Davis: Bitches Brew Live

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COMPOSERS: Miles Davis
LABELS: Columbia
PERFORMER: Miles Davis (tp), Gary Bartz (sax), Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett (keyboards), Dave Holland (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums), Airto Moreira (perc) etc
CATALOGUE NO: 88697 81485 2

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This disc contains three previously-unissued tracks from Newport 1969 and the complete performance from the 1970 Isle of Wight (IoW) Festival. Wayne Shorter, stuck in traffic, missed the Newport gig, so this is a rare quartet session. The IoW concert features a smaller, less messy band than the one on the studio version of Bitches Brew.
 
Let’s get straight to the heresy: at this time Davis seemed driven by non-musical considerations. He claimed he took the directions heard here to re-connect jazz with its funky dance roots, but some evidence suggests he was alarmed by jazz’s eclipse by rock. Broadcaster Peter Clayton said around this period that Davis sounded like he was treading his way through toys on a nursery floor. That sums up Corea, Jarrett and Moreira’s contributions. But Holland, Bartz and DeJohnette are on fine form. Miles is Miles, spitting out white-hot phrases, whipping the music forward, imperious and insouciant. Barry Witherden