Why did we choose Bitches Brew for the first “Issue?” When one of our brethrens at Revive was asked to sit on the panel at last year’s CMJ Music Marathon Week by the Miles Davis Estate to talk about the intersections between jazz and hip-hop and how it relates to Bitches Brew, we jumped out of our seats and said “yes, yes!” At last there was a camp, the Miles Davis Estate, that like ours, valued progressive jazz music beyond the confines of strict genre assignments. We respected what the estate was doing, connecting with young cats in different areas of popular culture, and outside of academic jazz circles, to revitalize the legacy of Miles Davis—and not just Miles Davis—but the eras of music that can be connected directly back to his influence. After all, Miles was the artist who had the audacity (backed with genius), to exclaim that he had “changed music 3 or 4 times.” On another frontier, they were also connecting a heavily lacking historical context with today’s music terrain, giving music consumers (readers of online and print publications, DJs, young musicians, music collectors, passive radio listeners) a look at the deep roots of American jazz music, where Miles Davis stands as one of the most powerful icons.

Bitches Brew signifies a rebellious time in music. It acts as a microcosm of the greater story of our country in 1969 (when the album was recorded).  The turbulent layering of percussions, Mati Klarwein’s dark and alluring album cover with the Afro-centric and numinous elements, one of the first jazz recordings to heavily utilize the electric guitar, the almost obsessively meticulous tape editing of Teo Marcero, has maintained in our collective music consciousness an almost immortalized image of Davis as the mad scientist who orchestrated a body of work that would change—not just jazz—but music forever.

If Bitches Brew gave the luminous “Go” sign to rockify jazz music, or to jazzify rock music, or to just move outside the parameters of jazz and rock altogether and just make music, then what we see with young cats like Maurice Brown, Casey Benjamin, Esperanza Spalding, is that they are effectively doing the same thing. They are changing music forever. With this new cohort of “jazz” musicians, what we get is not so much of an intersection of jazz and hip-hop, but we get an understanding that hip-hop is jazz, and jazz is (and was during the Bitches Brew era) just as easily, rock. They are simply authentic expressions spawned from the depths of these audacious musicians’ souls—audacious like Miles Davis was audacious—actualized through the products of improvisation. Freedom.

The Revivalist is an online gallery of stories, curated in the forms of photographs, intimate interviews, documentary-style videos, live recordings of improvisational performances, made accessible to all of you who are interested in a little more than just the newest trends in music. This is for those of you who are beat archeologists, digital sound librarians, as well as those who simply have a curiosity to understand a little more about the backbone of American music: the musicians, the innovators, and their history at large. Our history at large.

-The Revivalist Crew

Image courtesy of The Miles Davis Estate & Sony Music / Design by Sweden10

Exclusive Never Been Released Live Recording of “Directions” from Bitches Brew – 1970

Feature Media

To kick off this month’s issue and to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Bitches Brew, it is with our absolute honor at The Revivalist to present publically to the world the never before released live recording of “Directions,” from Bitches Brew Live, the Joe Zawinul composition performed at the Isle of Wright in 1970…READ MORE

 

Drummer Lenny White recalls the Legendary Jam that was Bitches Brew

Feature Interview

As the Miles Davis estate celebrates the 40th anniversary of the release of Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew, I had a conversation with drummer Lenny White and attempted to pick his brain about his experiences in making this album. As goes with many of the interviews I’ve done in the past, this lead to some interesting dialogue about some of the stories behind the album as well as White’s thoughts on music’s influence on culture, as seen in jazz during the Bitches Brew period, as well as hip-hop today…READ MORE

 

The Story Behind: Mati Klarwein’s Bitches Brew Album Art

Feature Article

With perspective handed to us by time, Mati Klarwein’s surrealistic rendering on the cover of Bitches Brewseems now to be an ideal, and perhaps, genius parallel to the revolutionary music contained within its sleeves. What would a faithful imagining of Miles’ music look like in artistic form? How could an artist encapsulate the madness, genius and sheer creative ingenuity of a revolutionary album such as Bitches Brew in a single image? Klarwein’s deep and swirling imagery, as challenging and complex as the album itself, did just that…READ MORE

Bitches Brew: 40 Years of Inspiration

Feature Interview

Looking back on the last forty years since the release of Bitches Brew, we have seen numerous generations of new musicians and artists coming up and making their individual, indelible marks on the world. Yet, certain things have that special spark, lingering around through the changes that time brings, altering the course of new artistry and serving as a guiding force for young artists. Bitches Brew continues to last the test of time guiding the likes of Nas, Wayne Coyne, Don Cheadle, Bill Cosby, and many more. Check out their take on how the album affected them accompanied by special edition Bitches Brew 40th Anniversary photos…READ MORE

Bennie Maupin: The Stories of Bitches Brew

Feature Interview

The Revivalist is honored to present this very special interview with jazz legend Bennie Maupin. Maupin graciously took the time to share with us the amazing experience of working on the revolutionary album Bitches Brew 40 years after its release. Maupin, known for his brooding and atmospheric bass clarinet playing on Bitches Brew and his work on Head Hunters, has had a lifetime of experience in the jazz world. From first hearing Miles’ “Paper Moon” on a jukebox when he was 14, Bennie was hypnotized by the deepness in Miles’ playing and the emotion and beauty he created. Triggered by a few chance conversations and a strong work ethic, Maupin was able to break into the world of the jazz elite and play with countless incredible musicians throughout his career including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, John McLaughlin and more…READ MORE

Rare Talk: Vince Wilburn and Trumpet Legend Wallace Roney

Feature Interview

It’s not everyday that you hear such a candid conversation between the nephew of Miles Davis talking with one of Miles’ most respected colleagues, confidants, and friends. Recorded exclusively for The Revivalist, Vince talks to legendary Trumpet player Wallace Roney about his honest camaraderie with the late musical genius, and the lessons about music, life and art that Miles passed on to generations thereafter. There are certain things related to his creative life that Miles only disclosed to his close confidant Wallace, and here are some rare gems…READ MORE

DJ/Producer Round Table: Teo Macero’s Imprint

Feature Roundtable

You have to have been living on a remote island to not know who Miles Davis is, but yet few have heard of Teo Macero. Teo is arguably the creative mastermind behind Bitches Brew, who had such a meticulous and distinct style to his craft that he changed entirely the landscape of music production, and employed a cutting and splicing technique that was the precursor to the huge take off of sampling later seen in hip-hop. As a producer for Columbia Records, Teo was behind the greatest selling jazz albums of all time. The Revivalist interviewed some of our favorite DJ/Producers—Rob Swift, Raydar Ellis, Carlos Nino, DJ Spinna, and DJ Logic —to gain their insight about Teo’s imprint on American music and the advent of new technologies to the music studio that lead to the evolution or devolution (depending on who you ask) of sound…READ MORE

More Featured Articles & Interviews

“We Want Miles”: A Trip Through The Cite de la Musique Exhibit

The Heirs of Miles

I Hate Fusion

Joe Zawinul: The Electric Piano and Popular Jazz

Album Reviews

Herbie Hancock Head Hunters

Mahavishnu Orchestra The Inner Mounting Flame

Weather Report Weather Report

Miles Davis In A Silent Way

Miles Davis On The Corner

Return To Forever Where Have I Known You Before?

Compiled by Eric Sandler


 


 


 



 


 

Comments

  • http://www.CraftBeerTime.com Craft Beer

    The tribute beer that Dogfish Head made called Bitches Brew is a fine beer and tribute to the album.