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The Miles Davis Lost Quintet and Other Revolutionary Ensembles$
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Bob Gluck

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226180762

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226303390.001.0001

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“Bitches Brew,” in the Studio and on the Road

“Bitches Brew,” in the Studio and on the Road

Chapter:
2 “Bitches Brew,” in the Studio and on the Road
Source:
The Miles Davis Lost Quintet and Other Revolutionary Ensembles
Author(s):

Bob Gluck

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226303390.003.0003

In late August 1969, after touring Europe with his new quintet, Miles Davis assembled a larger studio ensemble built around his working band. The group included multiple keyboardists and percussionists, an electric guitarist, and pairs of reed players and bassists. The goal was to record Bitches Brew, an album of multi-layered collective improvisations based upon rhythmic vamps and simple thematic sketches. A formal structure emerged in post-production in the hands of producer Teo Macero. His compositional design was achieved through tape editing techniques that developed in experimental and rock music studios. The resulting form was quite different from the organic spontaneous musical processes of the touring band, for which the title track became a central improvisational vehicle. The treatment of the tune evolved in a manner that reflected evolving musical dynamics within the band between autumn 1969 and spring 1970, often taking audiences on a musical roller coaster that rendered every performance distinct.

Keywords:   Miles Davis, jazz, electric jazz, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, Wayne Shorter, jazz fusion

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