Bitches Brew

Bitches Brew is like a David Lynch movie – you either love it or absolutely want it to burn for ever. And either way, you will never understand it fully. 

I am still unsure of what I think about this album, since it’s a bit frustrating to listen to a song for ten minutes and think that it’s almost over, just to find out that was the intro.

Maybe comparing the album to Infinite Jest – the one thousand two hundred pages masterpiece by David Foster Wallace – makes more sense, since it’s so good, so frustrating at times, and so addictive, that when you are finally reading (listening) the last words (seconds) of the book (the album), you can’t but crumble beneath yourself for wanting to go thought the experience again, and again, and again – Miles’ album has the same effect.

I could have spent time to talk about my favourite childhood albums, and the bands that have built my taste in music and shaped my brain fluid to hop at a certain tempos and grooves – but to be honest, I felt that although music is a highly selfish and lonely experience, the reality is a bit different: music is a collective experience which bonds individuals that don’t know how to say “hi” in each other’s language, but feel the same thing in their chest as a response to art in general, not only to music. So, even for someone like me, coming from a land of folklore and national based music, I can feel close to the things that all of these people like Miles wanted to say and convey – it's like being connected through this parallel-universe-thing where emotions and feelings transfer from one person to another through these weird noises organised in time and pitch that we call music. It's weird if you think about it. 

  But I’m derailing too much.

I chose Bitches Brew, not only because it’s visionary within the scope of what it wanted to achieve, but because Miles Davis expresses, with the musical textures that he creates, so many feelings and soundscapes, and pierces the right sentimental chords in a way that they never heal again (in a good way). Or, to be more melodramatic: they won’t be just major or minor ever again (the chords, the actual chords).

When the Beatles and the Rolling Stones exploded in the music industry, bands started experimenting and challenge themselves. Rock music was born. And with rock music, jazz, like all musical genres at the time, was never the same.

  

 Miles took what his ear captured as emotional, as sensational and avant-garde, and transformed it – he created not only “fusion” but the idea of limitless expansion. From be-bop, to hard-bop, to modal jazz and the invention of cool jazz, Miles never stopped his research for a different sounds – his endless journey into the blue.

His voice is a one of curiosity, of passion, of relentless research for the new unexplored horizons – pushing the boundaries of that is considered the convention. Bitches Brew is the extension of its times, but not only that. It’s a deep dive into Miles Davis’ mind, and what was his own deep passion for music. I would say that Bitches Brew – but not only: we can take all of Miles' fusion albums, from «In a silent way» to «Doo-Bop»  and we would appreciate his vision – albums that are, if not, even more influential nowadays, with a prominent scene of Fusion-Funk-Jazz-Experimental-Hip-Hop-LowFi-You-Know-What-I-Mean inspired bands: all of which have been influenced by people like Davis and Herbie Hancock and others (but let’s not go on talking about other big names because it’s a far more deeper rabbit hole that what you would expect).

We owe a lot to hip hop in this new genres as well, but you can taste Miles’ notes still reverberating through the textures laid down by his contemporaries, his descendants, and us.

I cannot properly give an exhausting review of this man’s music as it is so deep and touching, and every comment or thought is already been thought and said. I can only speak of the little flickering feeling behind my sternum when I hear that trumpet blow swirls into the horizons of the infinite universes that unfolds to his quakes.

  - Tsvetelin Monchev, 11th June 2020.

 

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  • I cut grass for a living, possibly the most tedious, mindless task in all of employment!
    Bitches Brew lived in my minidisc player in the seventies which I played it every single day for 3 years and it turned this tedious and mindless work into a thing of joy and beauty.

    • David Adam