Customer Reviews


69 Reviews
5 star:
 (49)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (5)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Controversial After All these Years
This 40th anniversary edition of Miles Davis Bitches Brew is beautifully produced and a reminder of the furore that greeted it on its release .Many used to the melodic records of the previous decade or more did not understand it or like it much though they recognized Davis, virtuosity and inventiveness.Even today it has none of the accessibility or wide appeal of the...
Published on 18 Oct. 2010 by Mr. C. W. Livett

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bitches Brew: Miles Davis - Miles runs the voodoo down in a gloriously ambitious experiment
I know I am about to be shot down for this, but I have always felt this work from all round jazz great and musical innovator Mile Davis to be less than successful, and is one that I very rarely, if ever, listen to.

I can see the merits of it. It's a grand experiment, pushing the boundaries of music. Such things are to be lauded and encouraged. And while it does...
Published on 22 Mar. 2012 by Victor


‹ Previous | 1 2 37 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius at play, 5 May 2001
This review is from: Bitches Brew (Audio CD)
For me, Bitches Brew represents the pinnacle of Miles Davis' genius. It may not be the most commercially popular, and it is not the most critically acclaimed, but it is audacious, cohesive and thoroughly enjoyable.
The wonderful feeling of communication and understanding which bubbles beneath the surface of the music is glorious. The editing also plays a crucial role, especially to deliver such effect as the delay on the trumpet line on the title track.
While these ideas, and the material itself, are incisive, the only truly outlandish concept is the instrumentation. For example, the beginning of "Pharaoh's Dance" is a barrage of electric piano sounds which is a shock to the system. Miles also uses bass clarinet to add a unique sound.
All round, these two discs have that rare combination of initial interest and depth, which will make anyone want to play them again and again. Wholeheartedly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and excellent; musical art of the highest order, 19 Jun. 2003
This review is from: Bitches Brew (Audio CD)
What a blast! I bought this album only yesterday and so far, I am finding it exhilarating, rewarding and immensly enjoyable (and surprisingly accessible).
At least for 5 of the 7 tracks on this version, it's like the aural equivalent of a high octane roller coaster ride (the other 2 are more a little more relaxed and ethereal and don't have the same driving rhythm, although still excellent in a different manner). The rhythm and percussion lines carry you along superbly whilst Miles' trumpet soars and swoops, the woodwind compliments well, the keyboards jam along furiously and John McLaughlin's guitar adds a hard, rocky feel to it which heightens the exhilaration.
Its one of those albums where you are listening to one fantastic cut, loving that, and looking forward to hearing the album again from the start at the same moment.
I must admit the 'negative' sound needs a couple of hearings to adjust to, but once you are past the 'differentness factor'; wow! What a ride! By 'negative' I mean atonal not 'bad'. It is this use of atonal notes combined with the driving rhythm which creates the exhilaration, I think (armchair philosopher alert).
If you are prepared to give it some time and have a MATURE, OPEN-MINDED and INTERESTED approach to music as an ART FORM, then this is a must.
Just a caveat before I sign off:
If you are able to apply yourself, Bitches Brew makes nearly all other music seem trivial or bland. Where do I go from here on my musical journey, hmmm? Learn to love at your own peril. It's intoxicating.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bitches Brew is FUN!, 8 Oct. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Bitches Brew (Audio CD)
I mainly want to take issue with some of the other reviewers, who make listening to Bitches Brew sound like hard work. For me it was a pure pleasure from the first spin. Far from being difficult to get into, I found it groovy, dazzling, sumptuous and sexy. If ears could have orgasms, mine would listening to this! Anyone who's open-minded enough to give it a go shouldn't have any problem with it. If the other reviewers have scared you, then ease yourself in with In A Silent Way, the record Miles made just before this with some of the same personnel, which in today's idiom is kind of a chill-out room to Bitches Brew's dancefloor. But if I were you I'd just go for it. In spite of all its experimentalism, its extended jams, and the intellectual baggage it's accumulated over the years, above all Bitches Brew ROCKS. It's a blast!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth listening to, 27 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Bitches Brew (Audio CD)
I bought this album when I was just getting into fusion and jazz and all the rest of it, kinda working my way back from John Scofield and Scott Henderson and all that good stuff. It doesn't take long whilst looking this sort of stuff up on the internet until Bitches Brew is mentioned and you start hearing about the impact it had at the time. I bought it without ever really listening to it in the first place and it really was not what I expected. To be honest, I couldn't get into it at all, I loved (and still do) Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return to Forever but why did I not love this? For someone working his way back, this really wasn't what I expected the album that supposedly started fusion to sound like and I was rather disappointed.

I still don't like it 100% and I doubt I ever really will, it's definitely more on the avant garde side of jazz, free jazz with a funky rhythmic pulse, which really isn't my sort of thing. Having said this I think it's an important album to listen to so you can make up your own mind about it. There's certainly some cool moments and it definitely creates an atmosphere. The album has a 'thing' about it, it has it's own sound and for that I respect it as a musical statement. I keep listening to it every now and then which obviously means it has something about it. I think every time I go back and listen I possibly understand it a tiny bit more.

Just because this is regarded as a seminal album on the whole fusion side of things does not mean you have to like it in the slightest, and forcing yourself to listen doesn't work but it's still worth listening to. Take time with it, it might grow on you, it might not, it'll make you feel something regardless.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning meeting of rock and jazz.., 26 July 2013
By 
os - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Bitches Brew (Audio CD)
'Bitches Brew' (1969)is without doubt a cornerstone of the Miles Davis cannon. It represents his first real attempt to take jazz into the realm of rock and meld it with African style rhythms in order to bring the back to its historic roots. If you listen to previous albums such as 'ESP' (1965),'Files de Kilmanjaro' (1968) and 'Miles Smiles' (1968) you'll get the feeling that this album is a necessary culmination of the previous groundwork. Miles was trying to reach out to new music forms and technology ( electric guitar /keyboards / the studio) in order to push his music into new areas. Always exploring and taking risks, Miles new he had to jettison the conservatism of much of the jazz scene and the expectations of his fans and look for more challenging approaches to performance and creation.This album then divides opinion because it represents Miles taking his own way,a way that some fans felt was almost heretical in its search for new sounds and methods of expression.

Many listeners who love the Miles of 'Kind of Blue' vintage might this packed double cd set just too abstract or difficult to access without huge efforts. A view I understand. 'Bitches Brew' consists of a variety of often lengthy jams which for some listeners may appear too undifferentiated and overly dense to really enjoy. Closer inspection of this album reveals the thinking that lies behind it. The music is more about the creation of a sustained rythmic pulse which the musicians respond to as circumstances demand, meaning that freedom and spontaneity are what drives these pieces to being uniquely interesting and ultimatly engaging and exciting.

The key to understanding this album is simply to sit back and listen. For me it has taken me years to really appreciate just how great 'Bitches Brew' really is, so don't expect to 'get' it, right away. When an album features talents such as John Laughlin,Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter , Joe Zawinul ,Don Alias and other musicians of similar ilk, then it is no surprise that the results are challenging and beyond the mainstream as here. Lets not forget also, that there is much beauty and delicacy here,so it is far from being the sonic tsunami that some reviewers might have you believe. The playing is phenonomal but more important is how the musicians mesh together, producing sounds and textures that have have a singular brooding richness and directness that once heard are hard to forget. Listen out for John McLaughlin who with his stealthy runs, bluesy note bends and distinctive chord work really gives the music a drive and bite that if might otherwise have lacked.

The remastering, sleeve notes and of course the music all deserve the highest recommendation. Essential!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is the `Legacy' edition of BB worth having? You bet, 1 Feb. 2012
By 
The Guardian (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Conceived and recorded in late summer 1969, Miles fans will know that `Bitches Brew' marked a radical repositioning in his musical direction as he continued to steer the course started with `In a Silent Way' and now fully embraced free-form jazz and long, multiply-layered improvised pieces. The result is magical, intense, complex and mysterious; the antithesis of easy listening. It's not pop; it's unlikely to inspire smiles or foot-tapping, and doesn't work as background music. It's insistent and demands the listener's full attention, which if offered will be lavishly rewarded.

If you know the original 2-disk release, you are probably wondering if this expanded edition with extra DVD is worth the investment. This is what you get:

CD1:
1. Pharaoh's Dance
2. Bitches Brew
3. Spanish Key
4. John McLaughlin

CD2:
1. Miles Runs the Voodoo Down
2. Sanctuary

All the above from the original 2-disk vinyl release. You then get extra versions of:

3. Spanish Key (alternate take)
4. John McLaughlin (ditto)
5. Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (edited for a 45rpm single)
6. Spanish Key (edited for a 45rpm single)

As a bonus, you also get the band playing a couple of jams titled:

7. Great Expectations
8. Little Blue Frog

From the same BB sessions.

On the DVD:
A filmed performance in Copenhagen from the 1969 tour

This purchase is worth it just for the DVD of the Copenhagen concert, which is excellent (though for me, falls just short of Miles' epic performance at the Isle of Wight Festival filmed on the same extended European tour). The extra recorded material on the second CD is all from the BB sessions and very much in the spirit of the originally released material.

So yes, it is worth buying. In fact if you don't have BB in your collection at all then you might consider investing in this and skipping the shorter, original 2CD release, as all the music is here - and more.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another re-issue of this classic, with extras., 14 May 2011
By 
J. MILLER "JohnM" (Farnham, Surrey) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The 5 stars are for the original music alone, which is - unbelievably - getting on for 42 years old and still sounds fresh, mysterious, intense and glitters and smokes and boils as much as it ever did. This is a budget version of the recent (2010)big re-issue and very good value for money.

There are 2 questions; why were the 2 previously unissued out-takes not issued on the 'Complete BB Sessions' box set over a decade ago? And, how far are CBS/Sony prepared to go to maximise their profits from the music of Miles Davis? The answer to the first question is that the producers of the box set probably didn't want to have to remix or re-construct the 2 out-takes like they did for most of that issue, and the answer to the 2nd question really depends on the administrators of the Davis estate.

But this is a very good deal, whatever the answers to the above are; the original tracks are what they always have been, and the extras don't detract from that. We get alternates of 'Spanish Key' and 'John McLaughlin', both inferior to the released versions but nonetheless very interesting indeed, and 45-rpm single 'edits' of 4 other tracks. The 2 unreleased tracks shed some more light on the recording process as they show Davis in the process of fine-tuning and focusing his ensemble. Well worth a listen and a 'must-have' for collectors.

Then there is the DVD, of a performance in Copenhagen from the 1969 tour. The sound is good and the camerawork ok too for '69; what is most striking is the way the band goes totally 'out' when Miles isn't playing! There is now quite a lot available from the European tours of 1969 and 1970, and all of it shows how extraordinary and (as it turns out) unique the music of Miles was at this time.

The one thing I really don't like at all about this package is the notes, an essay by one Greg Tate which is nothing more than risible, specious 'hip-dude' tripe which IMHO shouldn't be anywhere in or near this classic reissue. Ugh.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another box of jewels, 20 Oct. 2003
By 
C. Nation "chrisnation" (Bristol UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bitches Brew (Audio CD)
There are those who find the journey from "Kind of Blue" to "Bitches Brew" too arduous. That in itself is part of the story of "Bitches Brew". Miles himself wouldn't have had it any other way. [He refused to play material from previous eras. He said it "embarrassed" him.] He made the journey and so must we. The rewards stretch out in front of the listener like a stairway to heaven. The roll-call of the musicians on this album is second to none, not even the great "KoB" quintet. With this music, Miles buried any possiblity that comforting, comfortable covers would be played in hotel lounges or heard over hubbub in airport concourses. This is jazz's Shostakovich, poking Stalin in the eye; Stravinsky erupting in Paris to furious uproar with "The Rite of Spring". Like the trek up Kilimanjairo, nobody said it was going to be easy. But everything Miles stood for is here: the haunting tonality of his own playing, the freedom given to his musicians to reach beyond themselves, the courage it took to take yet another step beyond what anyone expected or even understood. And for us, the fabulous gift that he succeeded.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars forty years on when apart and asunder...., 21 Aug. 2009
By 
Michael O. Hardacre "mike hardacre of WCR" (Wolverhampton, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bitches Brew (Audio CD)
I find it fascinating that forty years after this album was made it still engenders great feelings of either love or hate. I first listened to this forty years ago and it was a bit like the moment when Bob Dylan went electric - societal judgement was either betrayal of genre by a great artist or the art had moved to another place. I came back to what I had thought was a load of old cobblers about 3 years ago and it's a bit like the debates about Parker/Gillespie in the forties; Coltrane, Monk, Coleman etc in the fifties and sixties. If you are going to push the boundaries it will take time to be understood. This is a magnificent, brooding, exciting, occasionally difficult album. GREAT ART IS NEVER EASY. This is not a great album because of what it did for funk and fusion, it is simply a magnificent piece of contemporary music which has stood the test of time. It ranks for innovation with Kind of Blue and the Gil Evans' collaborations and in its ability to shatter preconceptions of what jazz is stands with those albums and Birth of the Cool. The more I listen the better it gets.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music masterpiece, 9 Feb. 2013
By 
Sean Wilson-blake (Mauchline, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bitches Brew (Audio CD)
Bitches Brew was released around the time rock music was getting taken seriously. Psychedelic bands such as Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Iron Butterfly, Quicksilver Messenger Service etc were incorporating blues, classical, folk, jazz-influenced psychedelic music and written compositions well over the standard time of mainstream rock music. Compositions such as 'A Saucerful Of Secrets' (Pink Floyd) and 'Voodoo Chile' (Jimi Hendrix Experience, and not to be confused with the much more popular Voodoo Child [Slight Return]) ran up to 15 minutes long.

Miles Davis being in the music scene for over 20 years when this artistic musical explosion occurred, it was quite amazing to see him adapt to different styles and produce highly original and powerfully inventive jazz fusion.

All compositions are outstanding and timeless. It might take a while to get used to as it is music you will of most likely never heard in your life. Such an impressive blend of jazz, psychedelic rock and tightly structured jamming.

Now don't get me wrong, none of the rock compositions I mentioned are similar to the Bitches Brew album. I was merely just stating that rock music had become a lot more artistic and avant-garde and it is clear that Miles Davis was a fan of some (if only a few) and respected the works of these artists.

So if you liked the avant-garde jazz masterpiece that is 'A Love Supreme' by John Coltrane, Davis previous classic 'In A Silent Way' or if you're into the more experimental rock works of Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, The Jimi Hendrix Experience then give this album a go. Words just cannot describe how intense, powerful and just simply damn good this album is.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 37 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Bitches Brew
Bitches Brew by Miles Davis
Buy MP3 Album£7.49
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews