{Prime} Miles Davis Bitches Brew Author George Grella Jr. – Freepe.co

If you listen to Bitches Brew for the first time, be warned it is a heady mass of new sounds and weird time signatures it s disorientating and yet, it is an intelligent album that is momentous and is unforgettable Despite the avant garde clothing, the you listen, the it makes sense.Now I know practically nothing when it comes to jazz and I m glad that Grella does as well This volume in the series focuses on Miles role in the jazz scene, his evolution and love for pop music and his attempt to combine both jazz and rock in order to create Bitches Brew, the end result being a totally unique style of fusion Grella then dedicates a part of the book on the actual recording, which is fascinating and then the influence of Bitches Brew on non jazz musicians, namely Radiohead s Thom Yorke This volume is another worthy addition to the superb 33 1 3 canon this last batch have been nothing short of excellent and, at least, it helped me understand the importance of Davis outside of Bitches Brew. Miles Davis 1969 double album Bitches Brew is a personal favorite that made a startling first impression Part of the surprise came from distorted expectations I had read so much about the album before I heard it that my mind s ear was anticipating a very different experience Therein lies the danger of music criticism, which is no surrogate for sonic realities I had been fooled, in conspiracy with my own imagination, by prose mostly from the infamously slim Rolling Stone Jazz Guide that attempted the impossible task of describing a sprawling jazz rock album that sounds like neither genre, nor possibly anything else on earth.If I had read George Grella, Jr s book length analysis of Bitches Brew before my initial listening, I would have been armed with precise detail and expectations But it s debatable whether this worthy but often overheated study really exposes the dark heart of Davis highly unusual jazz milestone.Grella s volume is an entry in Bloomsbury s 33 1 3 series, which is mostly dedicated to a lineup of hipster music head staples Big Star, Radiohead, the Smiths, Velvet Underground , with an occasional entry Celine Dion, Slayer shoehorned into the program either by irony or the transforming power of academic theory Grella has an alt rock critic s rabid eagerness to justify the greatness of his topic, favoring superlatives, generalities, and animated turns of phrase A head scratching introduction pummels the reader with a tribute to the supposedly equal achievements of Miles, Picasso and Stravinsky.Fortunately, Grella gets down to earthbound realities in the following pages, breaking down Davis dense music with admirable critical rigor Of course, the album s structure owes a great deal to the post production of Teo Macero, who shaped a large group s surging abstraction with almost symphonic logic, a fact that s either a practical requirement of music production or a bombshell flash of post modernism, depending on your perspective As a critic with a literary bent, Grella opts for the latter.In the end, this is a detailed critical study and a comprehensive survey of its topic But are the 33 1 3 series lengthy tributes worthwhile The long form approach must pose critical challenges to even the most knowledgeable writer who, like Grella, is bound to feel compelled to layer theoretical flights of fancy upon straightforward and useful analysis. A few blemishes don t ruin the overall impact of this slight volume Some editorial lapses, and, at times, an over reliance on strings of superlatives that verge on nonsensical The big point of the book is made well, with plenty of evidence for anybody with ears and a critical musical mind that Miles Davis knew exactly what we was doing during the creation of this crucial document, and in no way was it a sell out Composition doesn t have to stay imprisoned in the lines on a page Nor do big sales equate to a vacuous product The irony in the non ability of critics like Stanley Crouch and Albert Murray to appreciate Miles deep Afrological approach to making art employing superpolyphony maybe I mean METApolyphony , the oral transmission of ideas and a storyline, and a HUGE emphasis on community based improvisatory music making this irony would be tragic if not for the lingering belligerence and success of Crouch, et al to score their points in the critical discourse of the last 40 years As any book of this kind should, it drove me straight back into listening, with new ears. Bitches Brew was my first encounter with Electric Miles, a very long time ago This book is erudite, informative, short and correct about almost everything Grella not only understands music as a musician, he also understands studio recording, editing and mixing which is a vital part of this story and he understands the cultural context and aesthetic stakes.Sets the standard for what a book about a long playing record can achieve while diligently pursuing a feud with Stanley Crouch. This is how these books should be writtenat least for my two cents..brief commentary on historical meaning of album artist, info on recording history that led to recording, commentary on tracks and closing with a final statement I appreciate the concept of Miles constantly evolving jazz on his own terms. Any book that can paint one of my favorite musical experiences in a new light is worth the price of admission alone Particularly poignant is Grella Jr s ability to really place this enigma of a record within the context of its time For me, Bitches Brew has always been an escapist fantasy, but this short and poignant book does a fantastic job of reconnecting the seminal album to its era in paradoxical fashion Highly recommended for anyone who is a fan of electric era Davis, Bitches Brew or not. Quite an academic study of the jazz masterpiece, interesting if a little over my head at times Nonetheless it s left me with future music to explore and a fascination for how the record was recorded and produced. This was another fantastic entry in the 33 1 3 series Bitches Brew isn t an easy album to write about, but I think Grella really did a nice job of covering both the album and the larger context of Davis career. It Was , And Miles Davis, Prince Of Cool, Was On The Edge Of Being Left Behind By A Dynamic Generation Of Young Musicians, An Important Handful Of Whom Had Been In His Band Rock Music Was Flying Off In Every Direction, Just As America Itself Seemed About To Split At Its Seams Following The Circumscribed Grooves And Ambiance Of In A Silent Way Coming Off A Tour With A Burning New Quintet Called The Lost Band With Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Dave Holland And Jack DeJohnette He Went Into The Studio With Musicians Like Frighteningly Talented Guitarist John McLaughlin, And Soulful Austrian Keyboardist Joe Zawinul Working With His Essential Producer, Teo Macero, Miles Set A Cauldron Of Ideas Loose While The Tapes Rolled At The End, There Was The Newly Minted Prince Of Darkness, A Completely New Way Forward For Jazz And Rock, And The Endless Brilliance And Depth Of Bitches Brew Bitches Brew Is Still One Of The Most Astonishing Albums Ever Made In Either Jazz Or Rock Seeming To Fuse The Two, It Actually Does Something Entirely Revolutionary And Open Ended Blending The Most Avant Garde Aspects Of Western Music With Deep Grooves, The Album Rejects Both Jazz And Rock For An Entirely Different Idea Of How Music Can Be Made Of the series 33 1 3, this one is about the revolutionary album that Miles Davis recorded in 1969, using studio editing to recreate the tracks, in a way that produced music on the record that was actually never played live Interesting.