Customer Reviews


11 Reviews
5 star:
 (7)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Have Fun and Freak Out
This is an under-rated album. Most of the tracks are built around simple grooves and riffs, often with alternating slow and fast sections, and though the electric instrumentation carries on from Bitches Brew, this is in many ways a more laid-back and accessible listen. Most of the tracks are repetitive and very long, which will be good news if you find yourself happily...
Published on 23 April 2001 by Mr. Dylan T. Hayden

versus
6 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great album, lousy edition
Let there be no doubt that Big Fun is a classic album. It might have been too ahead of its time when released for the critics to take to it, but its greatness is now, thankfully, more or less accepted.
BUT
The extra tracks on this edition are lifted from the Bitches Brew box set meaning that, if like me you own that great set, then you're left wishing you'd...
Published on 5 Nov. 2008


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

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Have Fun and Freak Out, 23 April 2001
By 
This review is from: Big Fun (Audio CD)
This is an under-rated album. Most of the tracks are built around simple grooves and riffs, often with alternating slow and fast sections, and though the electric instrumentation carries on from Bitches Brew, this is in many ways a more laid-back and accessible listen. Most of the tracks are repetitive and very long, which will be good news if you find yourself happily luxuriating in the dense and colourful atmospheres evoked by these superb musicians. Miles' playing is mostly simple and fully woven into the texture of the music, apart from the fascinating double-tracked duet on Go Ahead John, which also has a wonderfully fractured guitar solo from McLaughlin. The extended cast (including sitar, tabla, acoustic and electric bass, etc.; essentially two bands playing simultaneously!) deliver the expected degree of imagination and virtuosity. Great stuff.
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 Miles up at the peak, 19 Jun. 2014
By 
The Guardian (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Big Fun (Audio CD)
This until-recently-little-appreciated collection contains some of Miles' best material from his most musically fertile epoch, the 1969-75 period bookended by `In a Silent Way' and `Pangea'. Originally released in April 1974, `Big Fun' was largely forgotten until its re-release at the dawn of the new millennium.

The overall groove is very much in the style of the BB sessions with John McLaughlin, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, Billy Cobham, Wayne Shorter, Benny Maupin, Airto Moreira, Larry Young, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul and a huge cast of guest musicians all on top form. `Great Expectations' is from the BB period and deploys tambura, tabla and sitar to evoke a classical Indian feel. On the epic `Go Ahead John' Miles double-tracks his own solo; the track also showcases some awesome guitar work from McLaughlin, the whole seamlessly edited by the brilliant Teo Macero (you can also find this track on `The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions').

Another reviewer has commented "'Big Fun' is an immersive experience that requires the listener to really listen in order to enjoy all that is on offer here", which just about sums it up. If you like the experimental grooves of BB, the inventiveness of `Aghartha' and `Pangea' and the driving rock rhythms of `A Tribute to Jack Johnson' then you're going to be right with the program on `Big Fun'.

This is epic electric-era Miles. A fine showcase of both compositional brilliance and masterful skills of orchestration during this period, `Big Fun' is complex, brilliant and exotic. The remastering on the 2000 release is sharp, clear, wonderfully rich and deep. Five glorious stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars atmospheric stuff, 1 July 2003
By 
DMG (Swindon UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Big Fun (Audio CD)
over 2 hours of moodily atmospheric soundscapes from 4 different ensembles led by miles davis on trumpet. there are four superb bonus tracks as well as the original four that came with the original LP.
great expectations, the opening piece, lasts for nearly half an hour, and features intriguing orchestration featuring, among other things, electric sitar and exotic percussion. its basically in 2 parts, with a slightly sinister 1st theme repeated for about 10 minutes, with variations in texture bubbling under the repetitions, played by miles and bennie maupin (on bass clarinet). then there's a wonderfully breathless and spacious section with a new theme, wonderfully played by miles, with support from the other musicians. the music speeds up to become quite jaunty, before the 2nd theme returns and the piece ends in a hush.
Ife is around 20 minutes long, opening with larry young's horror movie organ chords, before michael henderson's super groovy bassline comes in (it dominates the piece). miles enters, briefly stating the theme, then blasting off on a great solo on wah-wah trumpet. there's also a saxophone solo from sonny fortune to savour.
reccollections is the 1st bonus track, also around 20 minutes in length. It has a beautiful, haunting melody and mood, slowly developed over its running time.
trevere is another bonus track, the shortest piece of the whole album, at just under 6 minutes. A dark, sinister atmosphere is evoked by dissonant organ and thundering percussion, over which miles plays a theme which I've seen described as 'sci-fi gospel'.
disc 2 begins with the longest piece, Go ahead john (28:27). it has no theme, basically being a lengthy jam with a quintet of steve grossman (soprano sax) miles (trumpet) john mclaughlin (electric guitar) dave holland (electric bass) jack de johnette (drums). it opens with a brief sax solo, then miles blasts away with his, then mclaughlin takes the spotlight for a bone-crunching, ear-drumming blasting solo: 'suggesting a hornet trapped under a glass thats repeatedly lifted and lowered'. after that, miles' extraordinary multi-tracked, pastoral solo, then more sax, then the end.
Lonely Fire is another moodily beautiful soundscape, this time featuring the excellent wayne shorter on soprano. what a bonus! at times, it sounds like 'in a silent way'.
The 2 remaining pieces are bonus tracks. 'The little blue frog' has a haunting theme, played by miles, who solos for a while before stepping aside to let the ensemble 'collectively jam' (no solos, just group improv), then finishes thing off.
'Yaphet' is pretty dark stuff, with a bubbling, atmospheric eleven-piece group growling away.
So, my verdict? Miles was the maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan.....
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 Vastly underrated Miles gem...., 6 Sept. 2013
By 
os - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Big Fun (Audio CD)
'Big Fun' as some reviewers have noticed is a fairly major piece of work which has yet to be fully appreciated by the critics or many of the jazz cognoscenti. Using a similar approach to the fabled 'Birches Brew' sessions this set is all about exploration. Using extended rhythmic vamps that feature exotic percussion, pulsing bass lines and floating keyboard textures as a base for the likes of Miles, guitarist John MacLaughlin and saxophonist Steve Grossman to provide the melodies and solo embellishments, the album is as much about ensemble work as it is individual creativity. The music hints at Spanish and African flavours, mixing the drive of rock and the experimental openness of free-jazz to create a living, breathing musical entity that is refreshing is as it is challenging.
Critics will say and they have a point, that some of the tunes do meander and at say 27 minutes + as on 'Great Expectations' are over long. Well fans of this period of late 60's electric Miles know that his work has to be 'gotten into'. I find myself enjoying the groove, but also focusing on perhaps what the keyboard players are doing at a particular juncture and then relishing the sense of cool space that many of the tracks so effortlessly conjure up as they go through their paces. There is a lot to enjoy here, for those with ears to listen.

'Big Fun' is an immersive experience that requires the listener to really listen in order to enjoy all that is on offer here. Top tracks? Well I enjoyed 'Great Expectations' and the bonus track 'Recollections' which features a beautiful little melody. Guitar fans will want to hear John McLaughlin's superb efforts on 'Go Ahead John', easily as dramatic and tasty as his work on that other classic Miles album of this period 'Jack Johnson'.'Big Fun' is not the place to start your Miles collection but if you have heard and loved 'In A Silent Way' for example, it should be on your musical 'to do 'list. This collection boasts four additional bonus tracks, all are worthwhile, and in the case of `Recollections', lovely. The re-mastering is superb. Recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A little-known collection of great jams from Miles' electric period, 30 Dec. 2014
By 
Kirk McElhearn (Near Stratford-upon-Avon) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Big Fun (Audio CD)
This isn't an album as such, but rather a collection of jams from sessions from the In a Silent Way / Bitches Brew / On the Corner period. It features extended jams, four of them over 20 minutes long, which are great if you like this kind of stuff. Some of this was used on Miles Davis' albums of the period, but in edited versions.

Some of this material has been more recently included on the Complete Sessions series, which are larger box sets, some out of print. If you want to hear some of Miles' electric jamming - which ranges from the mellow In a Silent Way stuff to funkier tunes from On the Corner - this budget set is essential. If you're a serious Miles Davis fan, however, you'll want the Complete Sessions box sets.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm no Miles expert but....., 30 Jun. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Big Fun (Audio CD)
this is one fine album from start to finish and one of my favourite Davis albums. The CD alone is worth it for one of the four bonus tracks 'Recollections'. 'Go Ahead John' is also one good jam. The mastering and bonus tracks are top notch giving this under-rated record it's finest release to date.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much out of next to nothing....., 20 Aug. 2010
By 
N. Jones "Nic The Pen" (Oxford, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Big Fun (Audio CD)
It could be argued that a lot of the musicians in the Davis band of the late 1960s /early 1970s rarely produced such sublime music after they left him as they did with him. 'Big Fun' is apparently a collection of tracks that never made the 'proper' releases from that time and it would have been a crime if the tapes had remained on the cutting room floor.

As another reviewer has already pointed out a lot of the material here is simple in the extreme, but the dense and considerable art lies in the way in which the players make so much of it. In short, those grooves are rudimentary starting points for some extraordinary expansions.

Davis, in a manner that's an antithesis of the reactionary bile spouted by the young suits who came to dominate jazz in the 1980s and '90s, was never a musician to stay in one place for too long, artistically speaking, and the period that 'Big Fun' covers makes this apparent in a way that few other Davis albums do. For that reason alone it's essential. There are others too numerous to mention here which also make it so.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Big Fun (Audio CD)
It's great!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Fun, 31 May 2006
This review is from: Big Fun (Audio CD)
One of Davis's more abstract albums; one that is harder to follow; not as free flowing as others that have gone by as it seems to be disjointed in places only to pick up the thread once more; still all in all a good album amd one that could be enjoyed by any fan of Jazz
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An overlooked Gem, 28 May 2001
By 
A. D. R. MARKS "adrmarks" (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Big Fun (Audio CD)
This album rarely gets mentioned in the same breath as 'Bitches brew'. Why is a mystery, since it's certainly (in this listener's opinion at least) as good its older sibling. Perhaps it would be best to describe this as a sideways rather than a forward move from B.B. The addition of the new tonal colour from sitars make for a delicious soundscape. Highly recomended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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

This product

Big Fun
Big Fun by Miles Davis
Buy MP3 Album£6.99
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews