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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Bitches Brew

Miles Davis

1970

Bitches Brew

Album Summary

Bitches Brew is a studio album by American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Miles Davis. It was recorded from August 19 to 21, 1969, at Columbia's Studio B in New York City and released on March 30, 1970 by Columbia Records. It marked his continuing experimentation with electric instruments that he had featured on his previous record, the critically acclaimed In a Silent Way (1969). With these instruments, such as the electric piano and guitar, Davis departed from traditional jazz rhythms in favor of loose, rock-influenced arrangements based on improvisation. The final tracks were edited and pieced together by producer Teo Macero. The album initially received a mixed critical and commercial response, but it gained momentum and became Davis' highest-charting album on the U.S. Billboard 200, peaking at No. 35. In 1971, it won a Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. In 1976, it became Davis' first gold album to be certified by the Recording Industry Association of America.In subsequent years, Bitches Brew gained recognition as one of jazz's greatest albums and a progenitor of the jazz rock genre, as well as a major influence on rock and '70s crossover musicians. In 1998, Columbia released The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions, a four-disc box set that includes the original album and previously unreleased material. In 2003, the album was certified platinum, reflecting shipments of one million copies.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.29

Votes

5890

Genres

  • Jazz
Reviews
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Sun May 23 2021
5

youtu.be/wwOipTXvNNo

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Wed Jul 28 2021
2

That sure was several 20-minute jazz songs.

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Thu Dec 02 2021
1

Miles Davis scrambles around like an uncircumcised elephant trying to skull fuck the charred remains of Madeline McCann.

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Tue Feb 02 2021
1

Listening to this gave me anxiety

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Sat Jan 23 2021
5

loving this. Bonkers and I can see why it is in the Top 1001 album's

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Tue Feb 02 2021
1

It's true what they say about experimental jazz. It's shit

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Thu Jan 21 2021
5

A dream, a place with a clearing that drips with choices. In even waters, the fish will swim. As the album starts, the drummer seems to be the only thing holding everything together. It sounds like Miles is just paying attention to the drummer. Then I start to hear the musicians pairing off, twisting into and out of each others rhythm. I think timing and tempo are important to this album. Everyone feels so free to throw in fills or take a silent beat. Love this album!

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Thu Dec 02 2021
2

Fucking Miles Davis. 4 times now. Can't be arsed with it.

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Fri Apr 02 2021
1

I just can't get past the discordant jumble of sound.

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Thu Apr 08 2021
5

This is a seminal album for any jazz fan. The addition of electric instruments to a more traditional jazz set-up creates a really unique sound and it was pretty revolutionary at the time. The songs feel exciting and alive because they were largely improvised in the studio. Shoutout to the album art, which really captures the feel of the music.

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Thu Nov 19 2020
4

Whew. I thought I had listened to this record before but maybe not. It was WAY more experimental and chaotic than I expected. The musicianship is undeniable but it's not exactly an enjoyable listening experience. For some reason, though, it absolutely pushed me to heights of productivity while I listened to it this morning so there's something there that's working on my subconcious. Overall, I absolutely understand why this is on the list and I think I'm going to have to give it a second listen to understand it.

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Thu Apr 08 2021
2

nazi scientists pioneered the use of powdered orange juice drink but we dont put them on the '1001 scientists you need to know about' list saying that, I didn't hate this completely, there was a head bop or two I could imagine myself in a swanky jazz club listening to this - only manageable by the copious amounts of cocaine I would have to do to enjoy it

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Mon Jul 04 2022
1

I haven't finished listening to this yet (and I will, I am no quitter) but I already know my rating will be 1/5 because the whole of the 45 mins I've listened to so far has sounded exactly the same to me.

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Tue Jul 05 2022
1

first song was enough for me. It’s just musicians warming up and making senseless noise. no one actually is able to sit through nearly two hours of that shit. 0/5

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Mon Sep 12 2022
1

Fuck, Jazz!!! Just fuck!!! I can’t do the improvisational shit. The lack of structure drives me insane. It’s cacophony! This album is at least 10x too long. I quit before the second song was half over. I just can’t do it. I know this is somewhat unfair, but I have to stick to my rating system and this album is unbearable. My apologies, Mr. Davis. I know you are a master at your craft.

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Thu Dec 24 2020
5

I was led to believe Kind of Blue was his opus but this meandering puzzle of noise is absolutely fantastic, something that you can immediately have enthusiasm for, but also something that would take a long time to truly understand on a theoretical level.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

Clearly a masterpiece. Abstract and at times uncomfortable but very virtuous

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Wed Mar 03 2021
5

Damn, this album is something else. It just goes freakin nuts in 'Miles Runs the Voodoo Down' - its like some weird, psychedelic musical odyssey. But what an album, I can't not give this 5 stars.

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Sun Jul 11 2021
5

This is my favorite era for Miles though it may not be for many others. I love getting lost in these jams especially the way they are edited together to make these "movements" and suites. A bold experiment in searching for a new sound and creating a new subgenre in the process.

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Sat Jan 23 2021
5

Way ahead of its time. Cool chilled and also strangely challenging

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Tue May 04 2021
5

Always loved this one, since I first got into jazz. However, the more I know about jazz, the more I appreciate this album - because I can see that there's rarely been an album of this calibre in the whole sub-genre of fusion this helped launch. I love how the tracks can start off sounding kinda like twiddly improv stuff, but they are far from undisciplined. Pseudo-symphonic structures emerge across the 10-30min tracks. Every instrument is lithe with vitality, and there isn't a dull moment over the whole 90 mins. If you compare it to bebop: instead of solists stepping to the front from the ensemble, this is like a group of virtuosos jamming together, and occasionally one of them is doing something different over in the corner, which only enhances the crazy beauty of the whole. 5/5 easy.

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Wed Jan 26 2022
5

Instant five. The kind of album that makes me throw my head back in relief, one of my all-time favorites ever by anyone. Anyone who thinks Kind of Blue is Miles Davis' magnum opus is a square, this one's otherworldly. It's frantic and hypnotic, a constant cyclone of disarray and hallucination. Imagine how psychotic these studio sessions must have felt. The title track is my favorite, especially for the moments of quiet that Davis punctuates by alternating between distant, echoing toots and loud, alarming blares of his trumpet. The guy is a wizard, that's never more clear than it is on this album. Do I have it on vinyl? Uh, yeah, two copies. You can't risk not having this around to spin. Also, as someone who likes to complain about long albums, I've got no complaints with this one. The standard is 90 minutes, but I listen to it with bonus tracks because it's that good. Each track is an odyssey. Favorite tracks: Bitches Brew, Spanish Key, but really the whole thing. Album art: Iconic. Easily in my top 5 ever ever. I love this art and art style so much. Most if not all vinyl releases for this are in gatefold format, and the art on the back is equally striking--the woman's face on the left is mirrored by an albino woman and there's a grimacing shaman priestess or something. I don't know if any artist has nailed the aesthetic of the music as well as this. 5/5

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Wed May 19 2021
4

They sure have a lot of superstars on this album. I like the way the ample rhythm section carves out spaces for the horns to solo, so they’re not soloing over top of each other, which is the problem I had with the recent Mingus album. I love the percussive nature of the rhythm guitar and keyboards. Miles plays aggressively at times, more so than I’ve heard before. While it’s great that it’s so improvised, with little rehearsal and only impromptu guidance from Miles, the fact that it was over-edited seems to defeat the purpose. I didn’t like this when I sampled it back in the day but after three listens in 24 hours I’m a fan.

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Sun Sep 26 2021
4

Probably the best album I'll never listen to start to finish more than once. Best track: Miles Runs the Voodoo Down

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Tue Mar 23 2021
1

The instruments don't sound like they're playing the same songs. 26 minute songs strike me as being made for the artists themselves rather than the end listener. Shite.

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Tue Dec 29 2020
5

yeah

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Sat Jan 23 2021
5

Closer to a 4.5, but I'm giving it 5 stars

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Thu Jan 28 2021
5

not in the mood rn, but an experimental jazz classic

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Thu Apr 22 2021
5

Transcendent music from an alien mind.

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Sat Apr 10 2021
5

Miles Davis did it again. He revolutionized jazz once more. Amazing jazz album.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

A truly stunning start. And a must own LP.

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Tue Apr 06 2021
5

One of the most amazing jazz records of my experience.

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Thu Jan 21 2021
5

So good

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Fri Jan 29 2021
5

Thank god. Finally something truly excellent. This is not my favorite Miles album. That would be Sketches of Spain. But compared to the rest of the albums we’ve covered on this list, this is an easy five stars. Every track is a groovy odyssey.

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Thu Jan 21 2021
5

Very cool album!

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Wed Jan 27 2021
5

Phenomenal.

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Tue Mar 02 2021
5

I have heard this one.

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Thu Apr 01 2021
5

Smooth!

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Fri May 21 2021
5

Miles really is incredible. This album slaps.

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Mon May 24 2021
5

The album that opened my eyes to free form jazz

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Fri Jul 09 2021
5

So difficult to write anything about Miles Davis, at least for me, given who he was and what he did for music (jazz and beyond) in countless ways. I had heard tracks from this album before but had not listened to it all the way through. So interesting to listen to how he reinvented his music over the years, and, wow, there is a LOT going on in these tracks. Some of it a bit too much so for me, but I also have little exposure to this style of music so that could be due to conditioning. I'll need to spend more time with this one. All those layers and textures. What a lineup, too. Miles, man...just Miles.

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Thu Apr 08 2021
5

I love this, the trumpet feels so crisp and cuts through the tracks it's on. It sounds like music for wii sports games in the best of ways. Multiple ~ 20 minute tracks are a bit much to just sit down and listen through but this managed to keep my attention throughout.

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Tue Apr 13 2021
5

This album is fucking WILD

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Thu Apr 08 2021
5

If you like jazz, you'll love this Album. If you don't like jazz it's gonna be a long slog for your. This album is iconic: perfect composition, intricate rhythmic and harmonic passages, wonderful use of dissonance and phenomenal musicianship.

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Mon May 10 2021
5

Great Album!

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Fri Jul 09 2021
5

crazy instrumentation, ultra long songs that run into one another, parts don't hold together at times, but what a ride...

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Sat Jun 05 2021
5

Iconic, haunting, polished, and great listening.

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Wed Jun 02 2021
5

Nice piece of jazz, %100 recomendable and ejoyable

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Tue May 11 2021
5

Epic length tracks.

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Fri Jul 02 2021
5

love the album art. Big leap from the Birth of cool.

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Fri Jul 23 2021
5

4.5

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Thu Aug 05 2021
5

Baffling at first but makes you rethink how to listen and what music can be/do.

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Sat Aug 07 2021
5

Yes, Kevin Klopf - from in the corner to on Orleans top to bottom

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Sun Oct 10 2021
5

Jazz masterpiece. Might be my favorite jazz album. 9-10/10

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Mon Oct 11 2021
5

Miles Davis, who had not missed once in over a decade thus far into his career, decides to make a jazz fusion double album to let people know who's the king around here. This comes right after the 3-year long stint of psychedelic albums that have largely put the music industry in a strangle hold. This also comes one year after In A Silent Way, which was certainly not psychadelic. By god, I think we're about to hear Miles Dewey Davis III put his whole bussy into this album. Bitches Brew is not cool; it is dynamic, bright, and unpredictable. Bitches Brew is a wildfire.` It was sparked by a drive to make jazz more relevant again, hence the fusion in jazz fusion. These are not concessions, though. Fusion is an opportunity, one that Davis is more than willing to grab and master. A lot of Bitches Brew is simply musing on the sounds. It's not for understanding, but for feeling. Let it carry you away and explore the soundscapes. Miles has created this wonderful sonic environment for you to enjoy, so enjoy it. No doubt, it'll get weird at times and it is 90 minutes long, but you'll be surprised with how quick time passes when you're digging the Brew. I'll say right now that Spanish Key is the tightest song on here, but the individual songs matter less so in the long run. You've gotta just experience this album as is. Not everyone is going to like it because it's jazz and that ends up being a devisive genre more often than not. I promise that there's nothing to "get"; you either like it or you don't. I like it a lot.

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Sun Oct 17 2021
5

Excellent jazz. I don't know nearly enough about jazz to give a "real" critique, but it's one of maybe two or three jazz albums I already had in my collection before coming across it on this list, and I actually come back and listen to it every so often (unlike many other albums on this list).

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Fri Oct 22 2021
5

4.5 Stars. A genre defying fusion of jazz and rock classic. The more involved and immersed you become with this album, the more you're rewarded with its form and substance. This can be either great late night chill-out music, or an album that gives you a greater appreciation for jazz as a whole. My only critique is that it doesn't feel focused as a whole. Favorite tracks: Spanish Key, Miles Runs the Voodoo Down, Sanctuary.

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Fri Oct 29 2021
5

great jazz

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Fri Oct 29 2021
5

I'm a jazz person. Miles Davis, John Coltrane, the list could go on

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Sat Oct 30 2021
5

"Directions in music by Miles Davis". A massive album, dark and funky and rock-influenced. This set the scene for the fusion of jazz and rock - wait, come back! It's a really good listen! Relentless, yet swinging, packed with ideas and grooves, spacious, full of interesting sounds and arrangements. A deep set of sounds.

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Mon Oct 18 2021
5

Just great.

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Wed Nov 03 2021
5

This album is the musical equivalent of lucid dreaming. The cover art encapsulates the sounds within better than most other albums. Worlds away from Kind of Blue and with an artist like Miles Davis you would hope for that

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Fri Nov 12 2021
5

Absolutely monumental album for jazz. Dark and experimental

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Sun Nov 28 2021
5

My favorite Davis work - challenging and diverse, moody with amazing breakdown moments.

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Mon Dec 13 2021
5

such an incredible, surreal jazz album it can definitely be off putting for those used to easy-listening pure jazz but this is from a guy that perfected that sound originally and wanted to do something more, something weird and wonderful overall it is absolutely worth a listen if you have 100 minutes to kill, this album makes amazing background music 10/10

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Tue Dec 14 2021
5

It's tough to know what to say about this album, or about Miles Davis in general. In every era in which he played, he always seemed to have a different and exciting place to take Jazz. After he stopped, no one stepped up to take his place. In some ways, it feels like Jazz is frozen in time, right where Miles left it. The album is a masterpiece. It's a swirling, groovy exhibition of both Davis's virtuosity and his brilliant composition. I can't think of a single other artist that was this bold and groundbreaking on his 27th album. I don't know what else to say about it. It's great, go listen to it 5/5

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Sat Dec 18 2021
5

Oh, hell yeah!!!!

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Sat Jan 15 2022
5

One of my favourite albums of all time. Masterpiece from a master.

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Fri Jan 21 2022
5

Whatever I say about this album is going to be nothing more than a vain scribbling of words. What do you say in response to the distant thunder and the clarion call from a landscape beyond? When you stand naked on a dark plain amidst the warring music above and around you? I’ve already said too much. Go get lost in this album that is a world unto itself. Give yourself to its mystery and wonder.

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Tue Jan 25 2022
5

This album is amazing.

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Wed Jan 26 2022
5

Nothing makes me more happy then clicking into this site and seeing a 5/5 album that I can just listen to on vinyl and know I'll enjoy it the whole way through. We had Kind of Blue sometime last year and I'd been waiting till we got another of my favs of his. This album will always remind me of driving home from Texas back in 2020 when we road tripped to mom and dads. On the way back, we just had music on and I think this album repeated a few times because I kept thinking "wow this guy can really play for hours" but it was a treat because this album is gold.

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Fri Feb 11 2022
5

One of my best jazz album ever. Insane music and totally free music.

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Fri Feb 11 2022
5

Not a big fan of albums that exceeds an hour in length, but I got to admit it's quite the masterpiece in terms of jazz.

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Sun Feb 13 2022
5

Fantastic, one of a kind, classic etc. etc. ”Miles Runs The Voodoo Down” indeed

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Sun Feb 13 2022
5

Finally we get a Miles Davis album! Due to its experimental nature and heavy improvisation Bitches Brew is not for everyone, and I am not always in the mood for it either, but it has this raw intensity and grooviness that can make listening to it an exhilarating experience. Definitely one of the most important albums in jazz history.

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Sun Feb 13 2022
5

Superclassic album - not much more to add

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Wed Feb 16 2022
5

the sound of jazz instruments slowly tumbling down stairs

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Mon Feb 21 2022
5

A classic, still in my wantlist! 😻

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Wed Feb 23 2022
5

It Miles. Totally cool 😎

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Fri Feb 25 2022
5

gorgeous

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Tue Mar 01 2022
5

Jazz canónico de Miles Davis. Vinilo.

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Tue Mar 08 2022
5

I've listened to this record a bunch of times. So, I've returned to it and love it. It's weird to love a jazz record. I remember parts, but would never say anything like "this is the best song." It's just one piece here. Recently, we watched a Miles Davis bio on TV. He was so good and so many in his band went on to be greats. His 60s output was excellent too. I hope to see some of that on this list.

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Tue Mar 08 2022
5

Not my favorite era of Miles, but when Miles Davis tells you he's a genius, listen to him. The highlights for me are the more traditional "Miles Davis" sounding ones. The experimental is okay in my book, but when he blows his horn, he wails.

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Thu Mar 10 2022
5

One of the best albums i ever heard

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Tue Mar 22 2022
5

C'est quand on tombe sur un tel chef-d'oeuvre qu'on réalise que les prétendus 1001 albums à écouter avant de mourir sont loin d'être égaux en qualité.

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Thu Mar 24 2022
5

I’m not a big fan of jazz but this album was incredible from the brass to the strings, it was 1 hour 45 minutes that was worth it. I liked all on the tracks 😊

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Fri Apr 08 2022
5

Est-ce un album de rock avec les codes du jazz ou un album de jazz avec les codes du rock? Je pencherais plus pour le 2e. Cet album ne plaira pas à tout le monde et ceux qui achèteront cet album de Miles Davis comme premier album de l'artiste en se disant "j'aimerais ça commencer à écouter du jazz" seront assurément déçus. Par contre, pour les initiés, cet album est très important dans la discographie de Miles et a changé beaucoup de choses pour la suite. Il était révolutionnaire. Jimi Hendrix cassait la baraque à cette époque et ça a secoué Miles pour l'amener à l'enregistrement de cet album. C'est long comme album, c'est complexe, mais c'est toute une oeuvre. En plus, la pochette est superbe. Donc pour l'écoute générale, je serais probablement autour d'un 3 étoiles, mais pour l'innovation, j'ajoute 1 étoile et une autre étoile pour l'ensemble de l'oeuvre et son impact sur la musique qui a suivi, pour arriver au final à un 5 étoiles.

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Fri Apr 08 2022
5

On ne peut pas feeler complètement correct après avoir écouté cet album. Peu de choses sont préparés, beaucoup de choses arrivent. Fabuleu jusque dans la pochette.

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Fri Apr 08 2022
5

ÇA c'est un album qu'il faut avoir entendu dans sa vie. Une véritable oeuvre d'art, qui peut ne pas plaire à tout le monde mais qui a marqué la musique, tout genres confondus, à jamais Immense jam dirigé (on entends Miles caller les musiciens , donner le tempo dans la ligne de basse floue de la 2ième pièce (quand une basse électrique est plus fausse qu'une contrebasse😅) mais quel jam! Contrairement aux albums plus rock dont Miles s'inspire, nous ne sommes pas confinés à la gamme de blues, ici chaque musiciens porte une histoire sur un vocabulaire riche, issue des courants jazz qui précède. Les thèmes sont courts, les impros longue et exploratoires. Tout les musiciens présents ont des oreilles de fou et capte tout ce qui se passe autour. C'est très improvisé mais en même temps c'est construit, osant faire du montage pour faire ressortir des éléments thématique et assembler le tout avec cohésion. J'aime un peu moins le side 3 ( moins inspiré thématiquement) side 2 et 4 sont mes préférés Un chef d'oeuvre touffu qui a une grande valeur de rejouabilité pour empunter au vocabulaire de gamer

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Thu Apr 28 2022
5

nice

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Tue May 03 2022
5

Out of this world jazzy psychedelic bundt cake

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Sat May 07 2022
5

Maybe I’m only giving this a 5 because of the mystique and fame of Miles Davis, but this is a damn good album. It’s weird yet cool; disjointed and chaotic yet laser-focused; extravagant yet perfectly efficient; imperfect and human yet otherworldly.

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Wed May 11 2022
5

Astonishing

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Sat Jun 25 2022
5

Quantity and quality. Cool jazz mixed with electric instruments.

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Tue Jul 05 2022
5

absolute jazz fusion gem. Timeless classic.

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Tue Jul 05 2022
5

At this point, what needs to be said about this album that hasn't already been said? Miles knew where he was going to go, where the future of jazz was going to go and gave us an album so chock full of uncharted waters that, to this day, sounds futuristic and forward thinking despite it being made in the age of Aquarius. The first great album of the 70s, Bitches Brew gave us a cinematic worldview of who and what Miles would become in this electric era and we would be all the worse off if he didn't go down this route and get loose. We all need to thank Betty Davis for this one.

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Tue Jul 05 2022
5

consistently brilliant throughout rollercoaster of an album goat album cover best hard bop artist of all time masters psychadelic jazz rock i would say it is a bit overrated though, not even in his top 5 albums still a flawless listen 9.6/10

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Tue Jul 12 2022
5

As I’ve observed many times through this list, I’m not a jazz head and don’t feel qualified to judge. This really carried me along through a lot of it though. It definitely lost me several times. I can’t say I’ve heard anything much quite like it though.

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Fri Jul 29 2022
5

Definitely something different than most everything out there. Cool grooves, great beats. Very cool. Probably not a casual listening album but really good. One of the rare times where I'm glad the album is over 1 hour long

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Sat Aug 06 2022
5

Sorry sir but I’m on holiday and this album is so long it’s taken me ages long to hand in my homework. Plus i have a cold, so the whole thing sounds like a Fever dream, like I’m slipping in and out of lucidity. There goes Miles Davis again, casually breaking the genre and making the world around him new. A genius album from a genius artist. It’s impact is unquestionable.

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