Bitches Brew by Miles Davis Celebrates 40 Years

APPEARS ON ROLLING STONE's 500 GREATEST ALBUMS OF ALL TIME LIST

PRNewswire
NEW YORK
May 24, 2010

BITCHES BREW RELEASED IN TWO SEPARATE CONFIGURATIONS:

SUPER-DELUXE 40th ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR'S EDITION 12" x 12" SLIPCASE BOX SET PACKAGE CONTAINS:

  --  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 MilesDavis.com, a previously unreleased video clip from Bitches Brew will be released with additional exclusive clips to follow

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060130/LEGACYLOGO )

"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."

  BITCHES BREW: 40th ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR'S EDITION
  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.

  BITCHES BREW: LEGACY EDITION by MILES DAVIS (2 CDs + DVD)
  (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.)

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Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060130/LEGACYLOGO
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/
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SOURCE: Legacy Recordings

CONTACT: Tom Cording at Legacy Media Relations, +1-212-833-4448,
Tom.Cording@sonymusic.com

Web Site: http://www.milesdavis.com/


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