Totally unreleased materials from ’69 show both artists in remarkable form.
By Blurt Staff
A few days ago the venerable Light In the Attic label dropped Betty Davis – The Columbia Years 1968-69, and it’s clearly one of the more intriguing archival releases to come down the pike this year to date.
The edgy singer had married Miles Davis in ’68, and as the liner notes relate, “Miles and Betty fans have long debated the truth of a near mythological session recorded in Studios B and E at Columbia’s 52nd Street Studios on May 14th and 20th, 1969. The landmark session was produced by Miles and Teo Macero and featured Betty on vocals, accompanied by Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell, guitarist John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock on keys, and Dylan/Miles session bassist Harvey Brooks. Other players included bassist Billy Cox (Band of Gypsys), saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and organist Larry Young. These historic sessions—never heard, never bootlegged—predate Miles’ revolutionary album, Bitches Brew, and are the true birth of Miles’ jazz-rock explorations, along with the roots for Betty’s groundbreaking funk that came years later, starting with her self-titled debut in 1973. While, ultimately, these recordings would go unreleased for nearly half a century, they would greatly shape each of their careers.”
Below, check out the video trailer for the album, and more details can be had over at the LITA site. Incidentally fans quick on the draw scooped up the limited edition gold vinyl edition of the album. As one of the BLURT staffers enthused, “I’m drooling every time I look at the record sleeve… or slide the LP out of that sleeve….”