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--- Mar 24 1999 Go to category
Subject: Miles Davis - bitches brew, miles' later music
Category: Other Musicians
From: Benjamin  Cawthra (St. Louis, MO USA)

Pat, thanks for all the great shows and recordings over the years. A lot of attention is being paid to the career of Miles Davis these days, what with a major reissue campaign on Columbia. I'm wondering whether you've had a chance to listen to any of the electric period re-releases (Black Beauty, Live-Evil, Bitches Brew box); what do you think of the music, the remastered sound, and the controversy that continues to revolve around the direction Miles went in at the end of the sixties? Personally, I find the music extremely challenging and anything but a sell-out. Any thoughts on Miles, the way he might have influenced you, and what his legacy is for the music? (Thanks for the "Solar" cover on Q&A, too.)

Pat’s Answer:

hi benjamin,

well, whenever i pickup a book, and i see "bitches brew" described as "the birth of fusion" (a meaningless word that i hate) or anything close to inferring that it was a "commercial" record or something, it is a great litmus test to see where the person who is of that opinion is coming from. (in other words, that person would be an idiot) there had been players messing with that zone of music for several years prior to that record (jeremy and the satyrs, gary burtons quartet, the fourth way, charles lloyd, some of wayne shorters record, in a silent way, etc) so bb was really just a continuation and evolution of a bunch of things that were already going on. it is a record i really love, and i loved it the day it came out. one of my favorite songs ever is the wayne shorter tune "sanctuary" that is on there, with an even more amazing version of it on the friday "miles at the fillmore" from a few years later. all of those records, right up to panagea were totally killing. i never really got too into any of the eighties stuff except the records of the band with scofield in them - but even those don't really do the thing for me that much like the 72 and earlier stuff did. miles was one of the most important artists of any kind of the century, the quintet of the mid 60's was maybe the greatest band of the century (along with the beatles and coltrane's quartet) and bb and the records that followed were noble and deep developments to follow.