Heavy Vanguard Episode 10: Miles Davis // Bitches Brew

It’s Friday, and that means weirdness on Heavy Blog!

However, today’s podcast is a special one. It’s the tenth episode we’ve recorded, and Scott and I agreed that we should cover something special, that we’re perhaps a bit more familiar with than other releases, and talk about it without giving any regard to the standard half-hour length of Heavy Vanguard. Invariably, our choice was Miles Davis‘s landmark 1970 album Bitches Brew.

To say that this is an important album is to severely understate its influence and legacy on music; it’s an album with tendrils that reach out and seemingly touch every major genre of music in the modern era, from its (at the time) unique style of composition and production to the sounds and instrumentation that Davis intended/favored for the record. Modern jazz, rock, and electronic music are all indebted to Bitches Brew in one way or another.

However, with that much of a legacy, it can be a tough order to try to listen to this album. I can personally attest to this, as my first listen to Bitches Brew was one that ended in disappointment and thoughts of “overrated garbage”. It took me a long time to respect this album, but nowadays I’ve listened to it so many times that I absolutely adore it.

A little hint of help for those who are interested in this album but might find it a bit unwieldy on first listen: listen to the albums bookending Bitches Brew first. If you’re used to jazz, take a listen to In A Silent Way, and if you’re used to rock start with Live-Evil—both act as great primers for this release. We’ll explain this more in the podcast itself, but if you’re interested in this you can listen to In A Silent Way here, and Live-Evil here.

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This Week’s Album:

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