Monday, May 24, 2010

Bitches Brew by Miles Davis Celebrates 40 Years




•Two CDs with original 94-plus minutes of music plus six bonus tracks

•CD of previously unissued performance at Tanglewood, August 1970, with Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, Airto Moreira and Gary Bartz

•DVD of previously unissued performance in Copenhagen, November 1969, with Wayne Shorter, Corea, Holland and DeJohnette

•Audiophile 180-gram vinyl double-LP gatefold replication of original album

•48-page color 12x12 book with 5,000-word liner notes essay by Greg Tate, producers' notes, and Lenny White interview by Ashley Kahn

•Plus memorabilia envelope and fold-out poster

LEGACY EDITION includes the original album and six bonus tracks on 2 CDs, plus Copenhagen DVD

Both formats released August 31, 2010, through Columbia/Legacy

Starting May 26th on, a previously unreleased video clip from Bitches Brew will be released with additional exclusive clips to follow

"Hardly said enough is that while Bitches emerged from Miles' Zeus-like head in 1969, it did so within the musical context provided by other longform genre benders of the day: Jimi's Electric Ladyland, Dylan's Blonde on Blonde, The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's and White Album, Frank Zappa's Hot Rats, Aretha Franklin's Spirit In The Dark, The Who's Tommy, James Brown's Live At The Apollo Vol. 2 and Sly and The Family Stone's Stand! – not to mention all the adventurous singles rolling out of Motown's Hitsville on a weekly basis by your Stevie Wonders, Supremes and Marvin Gayes." – from the liner notes essay by Greg Tate

"I listen to Miles all the time. The art on the Bitches Brew album cover is what first drew me to it. The music is incredible. The album itself is timeless." – Nas

Recorded at the end of a tumultuous decade (August 1969), Miles Davis' Bitches Brew reflected the chaos and beauty of a society stretched (and stressed) to its breaking point. This genre-bending, barrier-smashing double LP would become Miles' first RIAA gold album.

BITCHES BREW: 40th ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR'S EDITION is a tribute to both the man who changed the course of jazz ("four or five times," as he himself once quipped), and the album that virtually single-handedly brought jazz into the commercial rock era, earning a place at #94 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time. The new super-deluxe release will be available in two separate packages starting August 31st through Columbia/Legacy, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT. The two packages are summarized as follows:

•BITCHES BREW: 40th ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR'S EDITION, a box set containing a 48-page 12" x 12" book, and:

◦Three CDs (two CDs containing the original 94-plus minutes of music with six bonus tracks), plus a third CD with a previously unissued performance by Miles' group with Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, Airto Moreira and Gary Bartz at Tanglewood, August 1970);

◦DVD of a previously unissued performance by Miles' Quintet lineup with Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette in Copenhagen, November 1969;

Audiophile 180-gram vinyl double-LP gatefold replication of the original album mastered from the original 2-track analog masters for the first time in many years.

•BITCHES BREW: LEGACY EDITION, a three-disc package comprising the two album CDs (as above) and Copenhagen DVD (as above).

Released in April of 1970, Bitches Brew was informed by and reflective of the music that Miles heard being produced in the late-'60s by Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone, James Brown, Santana, Marvin Gaye and others, as well as the Beatles' post-production editing pyrotechnics. The original double-LP's six tracks, as formulated in the studio by Miles and his long-time producer Teo Macero, presented a seismic breakthrough in jazz/rock/funk/R&B. The tracks comprised the 20-minute side-long "Pharaoh's Dance" (a Joe Zawinul composition), followed by four Miles compositions, the 27-minute side-long "Bitches Brew," then "Spanish Key," "John McLaughlin," and "Miles Runs the VooDoo Down," concluding with the Wayne Shorter composition, "Sanctuary."

The COLLECTOR'S EDITION takes full advantage of the LP-sized 12x12 box set format. It includes (in addition to the recordings and DVD) a lavish 48-page color book, memorabilia envelope (among the contents are a reproduction of a Miles Davis cover story originally published by Rolling Stone in 1969, and correspondences from the Teo Macero archives), and a fold-out poster of Miles in concert. The super-deluxe slipcase box set design complements the Kind Of Blue: 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition released in September 2008 on Columbia/Legacy.

In 1970, the Bitches Brew double-LP gatefold introduced the memorable cover art of the late Mati Klarwein. His uniquely surreal, psychedelic motifs caught the hallucinogenic essence of Bitches Brew (and a year later in 1971, Miles' Live-Evil), as well as Santana's iconic Abraxas in 1970, the Last Poets' This Is Madness in 1971, Earth Wind & Fire's Last Days and Time in 1972, and dozens more album covers. Another example of Klarwein's painting, Zonked, is featured on the COLLECTOR'S EDITION book cover.

At the heart of the COLLECTOR'S EDITION book is a 5,000-word essay written by journalist-author-producer-musician Greg Tate, an authority on jazz, hip-hop and the rise of the Black Rock Coalition. Tate has annotated some 25 albums over the past two decades. Introductory notes to the book are written by reissue producers Richard Seidel and Michael Cuscuna. There will also be an interview with drummer Lenny White (whose recording career began at age 20 on the Bitches Brew sessions) conducted by Ashley Kahn, journalist-author-educator and Miles Davis authority. Kahn's Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece (2001) is the definitive study of that album.

As the producers' notes point out, 1998's Grammy Award®-winning 4-CD box set The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions covered all the music recorded by Miles and his group between August 1969 and February 1970, using the same general instrumentation and musicians. Starting in the summer of 1969, the core of the Miles Davis Quintet was Miles on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on soprano saxophone, Chick Corea on electric piano, Dave Holland on acoustic bass, and Jack DeJohnette on drums. That is the group who succeeded Miles' so-called "second great quintet": Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone, Herbie Hancock on piano, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams. They [the second great Quintet] flourished from 1965 to 1968, and recorded five seminal LPs: E.S.P. (1965), Miles Smiles (1966), Sorcerer and Nefertiti (both 1967) and Miles in the Sky (1968). With the dissolution of that quintet, as the Tony Williams Lifetime began, and Hancock founded Mwandishi, and Ron Carter became an even more active first-call bassist for New York recording sessions – Miles cast about for new players to join him and Wayne Shorter.

The new quintet lineup of Shorter, Corea, Holland, and DeJohnette solidified during the 1968-'69 recording of Filles De Kilimanjaro and In a Silent Way. This is the group who performs on the Copenhagen concert DVD of November 1969. By March of 1970, they were a seasoned touring group that had accepted the challenge to go head-to-head with arena rock bands at venues like Bill Graham's Fillmore where rock audiences embraced them.

But three months earlier at Columbia Studios in New York City, at the principal sessions of August 19th ("Bitches Brew," "John McLaughlin," "Sanctuary"), 20th ("Miles Runs the VooDoo Down"), and 21st ("Pharaoh's Dance," "Spanish Key"), the ranks had swelled to a dozen musicians, and looked like this: Miles on trumpet, Wayne Shorter (soprano saxophone), Bennie Maupin (bass clarinet), Joe Zawinul (electric piano - left), Chick Corea (electric piano - right), John McLaughlin (guitar), Dave Holland (acoustic bass), Harvey Brooks (electric bass), Lenny White (drums – left), Jack DeJohnette (drums - right), Don Alias (congas), and Jumma Santos (Jim Riley) - shaker. The only variation was Don Alias taking over for Lenny White on the 20th, but White was back on the 21st. The advent of multiple keyboardists, multiple bassists, and multiple percussionists and drummers is one of the defining sonic characteristics of Bitches Brew, and made a serious impression on the FM progressive rock audience.

The COLLECTOR'S EDITION adds four bonus tracks from August – alternate takes of "Spanish Key" and "John McLaughlin," and rare edits (for 45 rpm single releases) of "Miles Runs the VooDoo Down" and "Spanish Key."

Miles reconvened at Columbia Studios in New York for two days of sessions on November 19th and 28th (long after Copenhagen) with most of his group intact, except for Shorter. The lineup looked like this: Miles on trumpet), Steve Grossman (soprano saxophone), Bennie Maupin (bass clarinet), Herbie Hancock (electric piano - left), Chick Corea (electric piano - right), John McLaughlin (guitar), Ron Carter (bass), Harvey Brooks (electric bass), Khalil Balakrishna (sitar), Bihari Sharma (tambura, tabla), Billy Cobham (drums, triangle), and Airto Moreira (cuica, berimbau). The only variations were the additions of Larry Young (organ, celeste) and Jack DeJohnette (drums) on the 28th.

None of this music was used for the original Bitches Brew album (although all of it is heard on the 1998 box set). For the COLLECTOR'S EDITION, producers Seidel and Cuscuna have judiciously chosen to include two short pieces – single edits of "Great Expectations" and "Little Blue Frog" – as examples to show the evolution of Miles' sound in just three short months. "These edited 45 rpm singles," the producers explain, "bound no doubt for radio stations and juke boxes, were the only nod to traditional marketing that this album received." Although the music on this single was not included in the original double LP, the single was released in February 1970 as part of the promotional set-up for the Bitches Brew full album in April 1970.

When Wayne Shorter played his final dates with the group at the Fillmore East in March, it marked a turning point, as he went on to organize Weather Report, and Corea and Holland subsequently joined forces as Circle. Only DeJohnette stayed on with Miles (through the Jack Johnson and Live-Evil period).

Soon after the April release of Bitches Brew, while Holland and DeJohnette were still on board, Shorter was replaced by Gary Bartz on saxophone, Keith Jarrett joined as a second keyboardist (on organ, complementing Corea's electric piano), and Airto Moreira joined on percussion. "Their outstanding live Tanglewood performance from August 18, 1970, of four compositions from Bitches Brew" the producers note, "shows further development of the material due in large part to the added colors possible with the larger ensemble. In the hands of master improvisers, the constant evolution that a piece of music experiences is fascinating. The full story can only be told with the passage of time in live performance."

Greg Tate explores a world of contexts in which to understand Bitches Brew both literally and figuratively. Miles' fatherly instruction to Lenny White (some 25 years his junior) was "to literally think of all the assembling players as stewing in a big pot where they were all the bitches." Tate then places the album "forthrightly within the pantheon of the period's other goddess-muse inspired masterworks: Eric Clapton's Layla, the Rolling Stones' Exile On Main Street, Santana's Abraxas, James Brown's Original Funky Divas, and Funkadelic's Maggot Brain and Cosmic Slop."

After Bitches Brew, Tate concludes, "Miles didn't wait five years to radically switch up his game in the '70s – for the next half decade he will steadily release edgy, rough-angled and prophetic music that sounds as contemporary today as any front runner we care to choose – OutKast, Bjork, Radiohead, the Roots, Erykah Badu, bring 'em on – Bitches possesses all their contemporaneity and stuff beyond their grasp too, the shape of jazz to come, still."


by MILES DAVIS (3 CDs + DVD + 180-gram double-LP)

(Columbia/Legacy 88697 70274 2)

Disc One (CD) – Selections: 1. Pharaoh's Dance * 2. Bitches Brew * 3. Spanish Key * 4. John McLaughlin.

Disc Two (CD) – Selections: 1. Miles Runs The Voodoo Down * 2. Sanctuary * Bonus tracks: 3. Spanish Key (alternate take) * 4. John McLaughlin (alternate take) * 5. Miles Runs The Voodoo Down (single edit) * 6. Spanish Key (single edit) * 7. Great Expectations (single edit) * 8. Little Blue Frog (single edit).

Disc Three (CD) – Selections: 1. Bill Graham introduction * 2. Directions * 3. Bitches Brew * 4. The Mask * 5. It's About That Time * 6. Sanctuary * 7. Spanish Key/The Theme * 8. Miles Runs The Voodoo Down * 9. Bill Graham outro. (Recorded live at the Tanglewood / Berkshire Music Center, Lenox, MA, August 18, 1970. Previously unreleased.)

Disc Four (DVD) – Chapters: 1. Directions * 2. Miles Runs The Voodoo Down * 3. Bitches Brew * 4. Agitation * 5. I Fall In Love Too Easily * 6. Sanctuary * 7. It's About That Time/The Theme. (Recorded live at the Tivoli Konsertsal, Copenhagen, Denmark, November 4, 1969. Previously unreleased.)

180-gram vinyl double-LP:

LP One – Selections: Side A – 1. Pharaoh's Dance * Side B – 1. Bitches Brew.

LP Two – Selections: Side A – 1. Spanish Key * 2. John McLaughlin * Side B – 1. Miles Runs The Voodoo Down * 2. Sanctuary.


(Columbia/Legacy 88697 54519 2)

Disc One (CD) – Selections: 1. Pharaoh's Dance * 2. Bitches Brew * 3. Spanish Key * 4. John McLaughlin.

Disc Two (CD) – Selections: 1. Miles Runs The Voodoo Down * 2. Sanctuary * Bonus tracks: 3. Spanish Key (alternate take) * 4. John McLaughlin (alternate take) * 5. Miles Runs The Voodoo Down (single edit) * 6. Spanish Key (single edit) * 7. Great Expectations (single edit) * 8. Little Blue Frog (single edit).

Disc Three (DVD) – Chapters: 1. Directions * 2. Miles Runs The Voodoo Down * 3. Bitches Brew * 4. Agitation * 5. I Fall In Love Too Easily * 6. Sanctuary * 7. It's About That Time/The Theme. (Recorded live at the Tivoli Konsertsal, Copenhagen, Denmark, November 4, 1969. Previously unreleased.)

SOURCE Legacy Recordings

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales - Week Ending 05/22/2010

1. 45 - Larry Clinton "She's Wanted" / "If I Knew" Dynamo stock copy - $6766.66

2. LP - LP - Johanna Martzy "Bach: The unaccompanied Violin Sonatas" Columbia Box set UK - $4,500.00

3. 78 - Los Beatles (The Beatles) "Twist Y Gritos" (Twist And Shout) / "La Vi Parada" (I Saw Her Standing There) Odeon Pops Argentina - $3,500.00

4. 45 - Billy Byrd "Silly Kind Of Love" / "Lost In The Crowd" Scream - $3,038.99

5. 45 - The Professionals "That's Why I Love You" / "Groove City" - $2,599.02

Top 5 brought to you by: Vinyl Record Talk Tuesday 5pm ET / 8pm PT

More on this week's top 5 on Vinyl Record Talk, Tuesday 8:00PM Eastern / 5:00PM Pacific on Radio Dentata.

Preserving the spin

By Jenny Hopkins
POCATELLO — A few years ago, a father telling his teenage son or daughter that he was going to get out the turntable and listen to some 45s was probably met with a confused look and some words expressing how uncool he was.

But as Bob Dylan said, “times, they are a changin’,” and now the dad with the extensive record collection may just be the coolest one on the block.

Records, or “vinyl” as they have been nicknamed, has been considered by many to be a dead form of sound storage.

But recently, records have again begun to gain popularity, so much so that Jay Reeves, co-owner of Vinyl Perk in Pocatello, has decided to start a local chapter of the Vinyl Preservation Society of Idaho.

The society started in Boise with the intent to preserve the heritage of records by caring for and about vinyl records and to share history, knowledge and passion for them.

Reeves, a self-proclaimed vinyl “junkie,” heard about the society and immediately wanted to create a local chapter.

“I have been pleasantly surprised by how many of our customers love records. There are many, many hobbyists and enthusiasts here. It was natural to start this,” said Reeves.

The Pocatello chapter held its first gathering on May 20. Participants will gather at Vinyl Perk, 150 S. Main St. in Pocatello, from 7 to 9 p.m. each third Thursday of each month to swap, spin and talk about records. The next will be on June 17.

The gatherings may have themes, such as jazz night, where enthusiasts are encouraged to bring music of that theme.

“It is open to anyone who wants to bring their own records,” says Reeves, “It is an opportunity for people to learn about new music.”

Reeves says that extending the group to Southeast Idaho was a no-brainer.

So why, when there have been so many advancements made in digital sound, are people coming back to and staying loyal to vinyl?

Reeves says that vinyl offers things to the listener that digital music just can’t compete with.

“The sound of a record is better than anything I have ever heard digitally. Analog is a warmer, more textured sound. It’s truer to the original music,” he says.

Rich Graves, owner of Budget Tapes and Records in Pocatello, agrees.

“From the time CDs came out, there were a lot of people who said records had a better sound. It has a warmer, more natural sound,” says Graves.

Reeves says that teenagers in particular are playing a huge part in the vinyl revival.

“It’s tactile, it’s something they can hold in their hand, they can read the album liner notes, they may know the music to some of these classic rock albums, they may have downloaded them, but they have never held a record in their hands and looked at the picture of the band on the cover.”

For more information about the Pocatello chapter of the Vinyl Preservation Society of Idaho, call Jay Reeves at Vinyl Perk, 478-7375.


This Date In Music History - May 24


Robert Zimmerman (Bob Dylan) (1941)

Derek Quinn - Freddie and the Dreamers (1942)

Patti LaBelle (1944)

Priscilla Presley (1945)

Dave Peacock - Chas & Dave (1945)

Steve Upton - Wishbone Ash (1946)

Albert Bouchard - Blue Oyster Cult (1947)

Rosanne Cash (1955)

Guy Fletcher - Dire Straits, Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry (1960)

Vivian Trimble (Luscious Jackson) - (1963)

Heavy D (1967)

Rich Robinson - Black Crowes (1969)

Tommy Page (1969)

Alessandro Cortini - Nine Inch Nails (1976)

They Are Missed:

Elmore James US blues guitarist, singer, died of a heart attack in 1963 (age 45). Wrote "Shake Your Money Maker," covered by Fleetwood Mac in 1968. Known as "The King of the Slide Guitar." James influenced Jimi Hendrix, BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Keith Richards.

Composer, pianist, and bandleader Duke Ellington, died of lung cancer and pneumonia in 1974 (age 75). Worked with Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday. Awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1966. In 2009 the United States Mint launched a new coin featuring Duke Ellington on the reverse side of the coin.

Founder member of the Byrds, Gene Clark died of a heart attack in 1991 (age 49). Wrote The Byrds hits "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better" and "Eight Miles High," member of McGuinn, Clark and Hillman and solo.


The Beatles recorded the first of their very own BBC radio program, "Pop Go the Beatles" in 1963. The theme song for the program was a version of "Pop Goes the Weasel." The Beatles' guests for this first show were the Lorne Gibson Trio.

Captain Beefheart appeared at the Whisky a Go Go. West Hollywood, California in 1966. Supported by Buffalo Springfield and The Doors.

The Beatles with Billy Preston started a five week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1969 with "Get Back," the group's 17th US #1.

The Guess Who made their American TV debut on "American Bandstand" in 1969.

Surprisingly, the Hollywood Festival is not in L.A. The 1970 U.K. event featured Traffic, the Grateful Dead and Free. But the breakout performance comes from Black Sabbath.

Peter Green played his last gig with Fleetwood Mac when they appeared at the Bath Festival, Somerset, England in 1970.

Earth Wind and Fire went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1975 with "Shining Star," the group's first and only US #1.


In 1980, Genesis fans turning up at the Roxy Club box office in Los Angeles to buy tickets for a forthcoming gig were surprised to find the band members Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford selling the tickets themselves.

In Hamburg, Germany in 1980, a battle between The Clash and the audience resulted in Joe Strummer’s arrest. He had struck one audience member in the head with his guitar.

In 1982 - Jefferson Starship, the Grateful Dead, Boz Scaggs, and Country Joe McDonald played at San Francisco's Moscone Center to raise money for the Vietnam Veterans Project.

The Monkees "reunion" tour (minus Mike Nesmith) began at the Concord Hotel in the Catskills of New York in 1986.

In 1991, Guns n' Roses played the first show on their 192-date 'Use Your Illusion' world Tour at Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, Wisconsin.

In 1992, police in Montgomery were called when an impostor posing as Steve Miller left a hotel owing a $600 unpaid bill, he did however leave a $73 tip on a $8 drinks bill.

Poison lead singer Bret Michaels crashed his Ferrari into a Burbank telephone pole in 1994. He suffered multiple injuries.

Hanson started a three week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1997 with "MMMBop," the brothers first US #1, also a #1 in the UK.

The Spice Girls went to #1 on the US album chart in 1997 with 'Spice', making them only the third all girl group to do so after The Supremes and The Go-Go's and the first ever UK girl group to do so.

In 1999, Freddie Mercury was featured on a new set of millennium stamps issued by the Royal Mail . The Queen front man who died in 1991, was featured on the 19p stamp. The singer was a keen stamp collector, and his collection was bought by the Post Office in 1993. The stamp marked his contribution to the Live Aid charity concert in 1985.

In 2000, A New York Judge told Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde that if she wanted her March arrest for protesting the sale of leather goods in a Gap store dismissed, she'd better keep her nose clean for the next six months.

Also in 2000 - Chuck D testified to the U.S. Congress about the benefits of Napster and online music distribution.

Paul McCartney made his first ever live performance in Russia in 2003 when he appeared in-front of 20,000 fans in Red Square.

In 2005, Mötley Crüe files a lawsuit against NBC for allegedly banning the group from appearing on the network after singer Vince Neil slips in an expletive during the group’s New Year’s Eve performance on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. Crüe claims the action violates their free speech rights. They also feel the ban hurt CD sales. "This is a discrimination issue," says bassist Nikki Sixx.

"Return To The Dark Side Of The Moon" was released in 2006. The tribute to Pink Floyd’s "Dark Side Of The Moon" featured the Doors' Robbie Krieger, Styx's Tommy Shaw, Yes' Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe and Asia/ex-King Crimson singer-bassist John Wetton.

Bob Dylan's American Journey 1956-1966 officially opened at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland in 2006. The exhibit debuts on Dylan’s 65th birthday.

Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End opened in 2007. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards played the father of Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp's role). (It was) just something to do," says Richards. "I don't know if I can really pull it (off) or not." Richards sees similarities between being a pirate and life in a Rock group. "Both are ways to make a good dishonest living.”

In 2007, it's the first day of the U.K. edition of Rock N' Roll Fantasy camp. Instructors for the five-day session include Bad Company's Simon Kirke, Procol Harum's Gary Brooker and Cream's Jack Bruce. Ex-Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman and Bad Company guitarist Mick Ralphs are also onboard. Wyman vows to "jam on a Stones tune with every camper."

R.E.M.'s appearance on PBS’ Austin City Limits was broadcast in 2008.