Miles Davis – Bitches Brew: Legacy Edition [reissue]

January 01, 1970

(Sony Legacy)

 

www.legacyrecordings.com

 

Like Elvis Costello’s first three albums and just about
anything by Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis’ Bitches
Brew
seems to get reissued every five years or so. There are two reasons
for that. The first is obvious – money. The second is that, like Elvis’ and
Jimi’s albums, it ranks among the greatest and most inspired of the rock era, more
than deserving of renewed attention every half decade.

 

Let’s begin with the obvious. If you’re a fan of jazz, rock,
R&B or hip-hop and don’t have Bitches
Brew
, you need it, and this reissue is as good a reason as any to buy it.
That said, most serious music fans probably have a copy somewhere in their
collection by now, and hardcore fans likely already shelled out $50 a few years
ago for the 4-CD Complete Bitches Brew
Sessions
, which covers all the groundbreaking music recorded by Miles and
this group of musicians between August 1969 and February 1970 as they reinvented
jazz by melding it with funk and rock.

 

This latest reissue comes in the form of a two CD set
containing the original album and six bonus tracks, as well as a DVD of a
previously unreleased performance from Copenhagen
in November of 1969. (A larger 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition, due out September 14, also contains a
48-page book, audiophile vinyl and a live CD from August 1970). The bonus
tracks include alternate versions of “Miles Runs the Voodoo Down” and “John
McLaughlin”, both of which have been previously released, as well as single
edits of several other tracks. In other words, interesting stuff, but nothing
essential.

 

So, the selling point is really the DVD. Musically, it’s fantastic,
taking place about three months after Bitches
Brew
was recorded, when the band was at the peak of its powers. It’s a
great listen, but unfortunately, it’s not much to speak of visually. Production
values are non-existent, so once you’ve seen it, it’s not something you’re
likely to watch repeatedly, unless of course, you’re a musician hoping to learn
something.

 

Miles fanatics will probably have no choice but to bite
their lips and buy the collector’s edition. But if you’re happy with an earlier
reissue, you may want to hold off until the next upgrade.

 

DOWNLOAD: “Miles
Runs the Voodoo Down” “Spanish Key” HAL BIENSTOCK

 

 

 

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