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Bitches Brew: 40th Anniversary
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Audio CD, CD, 5 June 2015
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- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 19.71 x 14.5 x 2.01 cm; 328 Grams
- Manufacturer : Sony Music Uk
- Original Release Date : 2015
- Label : Sony Music Uk
- ASIN : B00TCAM9EO
- Number of discs : 4
- Best Sellers Rank: 5,136 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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This bookset is a repack of the 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Box package and comprises two CDs with original 94plus minutes of music plus six bonus tracks a third CD of a previously unissued performance at Tanglewood, August 1970, with Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, Airto Moreira and Gary Bartz DVD of a previously unissued performance in Copenhagen, November 1969, with Wayne Shorter, Corea, Holland and DeJohnette.brbr The book includes a 5,000word essay by journalistauthorproducermusician Greg Tate Producers’ notes by Michael Cuscuna and Richard Seidel plus dozens of rare, unpublished photographs and record label memos.
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Moving on to disc 3 this is a great, clear concert from Tanglewood on August 18th, 1970. This has previously been available on a very muddy bootleg and again in "On The Crest Of The Airwaves" unofficial box set but is cleaned up beautifully for this official Sony release. Although four Bitches Brew tracks are the centrepiece of this concert it kicks off with Directions, not released in studio form until the eponymous album of 1981 and intriguingly features The Mask, recorded in the Jack Johnson sessions of April 1970 but not seeing the light of day in studio form until "The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions" of September 2003. Here there's a missing link between Parts 1 & 2, which despite being just 3:55 in length put a new piece of the jigsaw in place. It's a great concert, unique to this release officially.
Disc 4 is a DVD, a 70 minute colour concert from Denmark on November 4th, 1969. Again, exclusive to this release its a mix of Miles playing parts of Bitches Brew but still looking back with Agitation from the great ESP album, even further back to "Seven Steps To Heaven" for I Fall In Love Too Easily, as well as It's About That Time from "In A Silent Way". Throughout the only electric instrument is Chick Corea's electric piano. This is a fine concert and worth the purchase at this bargain price alone.
An informative booklet also adds more background to this major album, with photos of private correspondence included. All in all a fine package, worth it even if you own the complete version.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 October 2019
I shall try to review this box set dispassionately.
Well presented good quality sturdy book housing four discs and something to read for those with any interest.
Had heard this album many years ago, kind of liked but then forgot about it. On a whim, thought I'd give it a second chance. It still holds some sort of appeal but shouts "f-off" to any pre-conceptions of musicality. It's uncompromising in its insistence to disturb you. Don't listen if you are of a fragile disposition. There are extra tracks to push you over the edge.
Then there is a live CD from 1970. I believe that at one point during the performance I heard two notes that actually sounded as though they should follow each other --- surely some mistake and I hope Mr Davis fined the errant muso for his laxity.
Then the piece de resistance. A DVD of a live performance from Copenhagen 1969. Did you ever see a comedy sketch show from the 1990s called "The Fast Show"? They had a regular piece called "Jaaazz Club". The music was diabolical but was always described as "Grrreat" or "Niiice". Well, this is worse than anything that I heard on "Jaaazz Club".
I think that Miles Davis was some kind of Devil deliberately let loose on the world by God to test mortals' appreciation of beauty and their intrinsic grasp of the purpose and structure of reality, but ho-hum, maybe it's just me.
Having said all of the above, I'm glad I bought this set and I enjoyed listening to it, but it won't be at the top of my playlist.
If I've offended any jazz purists with this review then so be it. Just my honest opinion.