Bitches Brew: 40 Years Later

Be sure to check out Miles Davis: Forty Years of Freedom by Geoffrey Himes in the August issue of JazzTimes.

At 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 19, Miles Davis assembled a group of musicians in Columbia Records’ Studio B in Manhattan to record the music that would become Bitches Brew. Hendrix’s Woodstock band, Gypsy Sun & Rainbows, had included electric guitar, electric bass, drums and two percussionists. Davis’ musicians included all that plus a second drummer, two keyboardists, an acoustic bassist, trumpeter, saxophonist and bass clarinetist.

Both bands were biracial and similarly attired: headbands, fringe, bellbottoms, leather vests, scarves, jeans and other trappings of 1969 bohemia. As guitarist John McLaughlin, bassist Harvey Brooks and keyboardists Chick Corea and Joe Zawinul plugged in their instruments and fiddled with their amplifier dials, it seemed that this session would not sound at all like Kind of Blue.

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