Review #87: Bitches Brew, Miles Davis

Karla Clifton
2 min readMay 21, 2021

#87: Bitches Brew, Miles Davis

Generally, I am frightened by jazz. Look, it’s impossible to improvise and continue to play the right notes. I don’t care what you say about modes and scales, they don’t exist, dammit!

I’m happy to say that something clicked for me when listening to Bitches Brew. Jazz is exciting! Jazz has angry electric guitars and screaming saxophones and speedy keyboards!

You might remember Miles Davis from Review #31, Kind of Blue. This album is much faster, much crazier, much more unhinged. Apparently, that’s because Miles Davis made this record specifically to appeal to people who liked Jimi Hendrix and Sly & the Family Stone, according to the RS blurb. As noble a goal as any.

Fun fact, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke said he was inspired to make OK Computer (#42) by Bitches Brew, which makes A LOT of sense to me.

FAVORITE SONGS:

“Bitches Brew” — Not the first song on the album, but this was the one where I started to understand that I was going to love this. Horns that sound like they’re in pain.

“Spanish Key” — Guitar that sounds like it’s not in pain.

“John McLaughlin” — John McLaughlin is the name of the guitarist, who has all the coolest parts on this whole record. Yes, of course his guitar feature is amazing.

“Miles Runs The Voodoo Down” — More angry jazz guitar, more, more, more!

“Sanctuary” — This one is calm and pretty, which is nice after the rest of this wild album.

“Feio” — This song sounds like if the first two seconds of a Led Zeppelin song lasted 11 minutes long, with dogs barking in the background. “Why is this song called ‘Feio’ and not ‘Fido?’”

LEAST FAVORITE SONGS:

“Pharaoh’s Dance” — This was the first song and it is SO MUCH. I listened to it again after hearing the rest of the album and it sort of blew me down, but the first time I listened, I just heard chaos and terror.

IS RS FULL OF IT?

I don’t know, man, this is my favorite jazz album so far. Maybe I would have been more receptive to all the rest of those jazz albums if I had heard this sweet electric guitar first.

I’m calling your bluff, RS. Put a Bitch first! Or at least at #31.

Review #86: The Doors, The Doors

Review #88: Hunky Dory, David Bowie

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