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Miles Davis|Big Fun

Big Fun

Miles Davis

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Despite the presence of classic tracks like Joe Zawinul's "Great Expectations," Big Fun feels like the compendium of sources it is. These tracks are all outtakes from other sessions, most notably Bitches Brew, On the Corner, and others. The other element is that many of these tracks appeared in different versions elsewhere. These were second takes, or the unedited takes before producer Teo Macero and Miles were able to edit them, cut and paste their parts into other things, or whatever. That is not to say the album should be dismissed. Despite the numerous lineups and uneven flow of the tracks, there does remain some outstanding playing and composing here. Most notably is "Great Expectations" from 1969, which opens the album. Here the lineup is Miles, Steve Grossman, Bennie Maupin, John McLaughlin, Khalil Balakrishna, and Bihari Sharma on sitar and tambura, Herbie, Chick Corea, Ron Carter, Harvey Brooks, Billy Cobham, and Airto. Creating a series of vamps from drones and a small melodic figure, there is very little in the way of groove or melodic development until the middle section, where a series of modalities enters the composition. The second album in the set features "Go Ahead John," an outtake from Jack Johnson's sessions that is 28 minutes in length. It's a riff-based groover, with McLaughlin and his wah-wah pedal setting the pace with Steve Grossman on soprano. The basic motif is the blues, floating around E and Bb flat, but there are modulations introduced by Miles into Db flat that add a kinkier dimension into the proceedings as well. Dave Holland is the bass player, and DeJohnette is the drummer. There is no piano. What's most interesting about this date is how it prefigures what would become "Right Off" from Jack Johnson. It doesn't have the same fire, nor does it manage to sustain itself for the duration, but there are some truly wonderful sections in the piece. This is for Miles fans only, especially those of his electric period, because it fills in the puzzle. The reissue added four bonus tracks to the original double-LP set, but other than "Recollections" by Zawinul, they shed little light on the mystique and development of the intensely creative music being developed in 1969 and 1970. Others should be directed to Bitches Brew, In A Silent Way, Jack Johnson, or Live Evil as starting points.

© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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Big Fun

Miles Davis

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1
Great Expectations (Album Version)
00:27:22

Bennie Maupin, Bass Clarinet - Josef Zawinul, Composer - Josef Zawinul, Lyricist - Billy Cobham, Drums - John McLaughlin, Electric Guitar - Airto Moreira, Percussion - Steve Grossman, Soprano Saxophone - Chick Corea, Piano - Herbie Hancock, Piano - Harvey Brooks, Bass - Seth Foster, Re-Mastering Engineer - Bihari Sharma, Sitar - Bihari Sharma, Tambura - Patti Matheny, A&R Coordinator - Russ Payne, Mixing Engineer - Stan Tonkel, Engineer - Miles Davis, Lyricist - Miles Davis, Performer - Miles Davis, Trumpet - Miles Davis, Composer - Darren Salmieri, A&R Coordinator - Joesf Zawinul, Composer - Joesf Zawinul, Lyricist - Stan Weiss, Mixing Engineer - Ron Carter, Bass - Khalil Balakrishna, Sitar - Khalil Balakrishna, Tambura - Bob Belden, Producer - John Guerriere, Mixing Engineer - Frank Laico, Engineer -

(P) 1974 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

2
Ife (Album Version)
00:21:33

Bennie Maupin, Flute - Bennie Maupin, Clarinet - Badal Roy, Tabla - John McLaughlin, Guitar - Steve Grossman, Soprano Saxophone - Seth Foster, Re-Mastering Engineer - Harold I. Williams, Piano - Billy Hart, Drums - Russ Payne, Mixing Engineer - Stan Tonkel, Engineer - Miles Davis, Lyricist - Miles Davis, Performer - Miles Davis, Trumpet - Miles Davis, Composer - Darren Salmieri, A&R Coordinator - Carlos Garnett, Soprano Saxophone - Stan Weiss, Mixing Engineer - Patti Matheny, A&R Coordinator - Michael Henderson, Bass - Al Foster, Drums - Sonny Fortune, Flute - Sonny Fortune, Soprano Saxophone - Bob Belden, Producer - Frank Laico, Engineer - John Guerriere, Mixing Engineer -

(P) 1974 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

3
Recollections (Album Version)
00:18:54

Bennie Maupin, Bass Clarinet - Josef Zawinul, Composer - Josef Zawinul, Lyricist - Billy Cobham, Triangle - Dave Holland, Acoustic Bass - John McLaughlin, Guitar - Airto Moreira, Percussion - Jack DeJohnette, Drums - Chick Corea, Piano - Wayne Shorter, Soprano Saxophone - Seth Foster, Re-Mastering Engineer - Bob Beldon, Re-Issue Producer - Michael Cuscuna, Executive Producer - Russ Payne, Mixing Engineer - Joe Zawinul, Piano - Stan Tonkel, Engineer - Miles Davis, Performer - Miles Davis, Trumpet - Teo Macero, Producer - Darren Salmieri, A&R Coordinator - Stan Weiss, Mixing Engineer - Patti Matheny, A&R Coordinator - John Guerriere, Mixing Engineer - Frank Laico, Engineer -

Orig. Rec. 1970, Orig. Rel. 1998 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

4
Trevere (Album Version)
00:05:56

Bennie Maupin, Bass Clarinet - Larry Young, Organ - Larry Young, Celesta - Billy Cobham, Drums - Dave Holland, Bass - John McLaughlin, Guitar - Jack DeJohnette, Drums - Steve Grossman, Soprano Saxophone - Chick Corea, Piano - Harvey Brooks, Bass - Seth Foster, Re-Mastering Engineer - Bob Beldon, Re-Issue Producer - Bihari Sharma, Tambura - Michael Cuscuna, Executive Producer - Russ Payne, Mixing Engineer - Stan Tonkel, Engineer - Miles Davis, Composer - Miles Davis, Lyricist - Miles Davis, Performer - Miles Davis, Trumpet - Teo Macero, Producer - Darren Salmieri, A&R Coordinator - Stan Weiss, Mixing Engineer - Patti Matheny, A&R Coordinator - Khalil Balakrishna, Sitar - John Guerriere, Mixing Engineer - Frank Laico, Engineer -

Originally Recorded 1969 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

DISC 2

1
Go Ahead John (Album Version)
00:28:26

Bob Belden, Producer - John Guerriere, Mixing Engineer - Stan Weiss, Mixing Engineer - Stan Tonkel, Engineer - Russ Payne, Mixing Engineer - Frank Laico, Engineer - Dave Holland, Bass - Steve Grossman, Saxophone - Seth Foster, Re-Mastering Engineer - Jack DeJohnette, Drums - M. Davis, Lyricist - M. Davis, Composer - Miles Davis, Performer - Miles Davis, Trumpet - Patti Matheny, A&R Coordinator - Darren Salmieri, A&R Coordinator - John McLaughlin, Electric Guitar -

(P) 1974 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

2
Lonely Fire (Album Version)
00:21:21

Billy Cobham, Drums - Dave Holland, Bass - John McLaughlin, Guitar - Airto Moreira, Percussion - Jack DeJohnette, Drums - Chick Corea, Piano - Harvey Brooks, Bass - Wayne Shorter, Saxophone - Seth Foster, Re-Mastering Engineer - Russ Payne, Mixing Engineer - Joe Zawinul, Piano - Stan Tonkel, Engineer - Miles Davis, Performer - Miles Davis, Trumpet - Darren Salmieri, A&R Coordinator - M. Davis, Lyricist - M. Davis, Composer - Stan Weiss, Mixing Engineer - Benny Maupin, Bass Clarinet - Patti Matheny, A&R Coordinator - Bob Belden, Producer - John Guerriere, Mixing Engineer - Frank Laico, Engineer -

(P) 1974 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

3
The Little Blue Frog (Album Version)
00:09:09

Bennie Maupin, Bass Clarinet - Larry Young, Organ - Larry Young, Celesta - Billy Cobham, Drums - Dave Holland, Bass - John McLaughlin, Guitar - Jack DeJohnette, Drums - Steve Grossman, Soprano Saxophone - Chick Corea, Piano - Harvey Brooks, Bass - Seth Foster, Re-Mastering Engineer - Bob Beldon, Re-Issue Producer - Bihari Sharma, Tambura - Michael Cuscuna, Executive Producer - Russ Payne, Mixing Engineer - Stan Tonkel, Engineer - Miles Davis, Composer - Miles Davis, Lyricist - Miles Davis, Performer - Miles Davis, Trumpet - Teo Macero, Producer - Darren Salmieri, A&R Coordinator - Stan Weiss, Mixing Engineer - Patti Matheny, A&R Coordinator - Khalil Balakrishna, Sitar - John Guerriere, Mixing Engineer - Frank Laico, Engineer -

Originally Released 1970 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

4
Yaphet (Album Version)
00:09:40

Bennie Maupin, Bass Clarinet - Billy Cobham, Drums - Billy Cobham, Triangle - John McLaughlin, Guitar - Airto Moreira, Percussion - Rob Schwartz, Mixing Engineer - Rob Schwartz, Mastering Engineer - Steve Grossman, Soprano Saxophone - Chick Corea, Piano - Mark Wilder, Mixing Engineer - Mark Wilder, Mastering Engineer - Herbie Hancock, Piano - Harvey Brooks, Acoustic Bass - Bob Beldon, Re-Issue Producer - Bihari Sharma, Percussion - Michael Cuscuna, Executive Producer - Miles Davis, Composer - Miles Davis, Lyricist - Miles Davis, Performer - Miles Davis, Trumpet - Teo Macero, Producer - Ron Carter, Bass - Khalil Balakrishna, Sitar - Franck Laico, Engineer -

Originally Recorded 1969 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

Album review

Despite the presence of classic tracks like Joe Zawinul's "Great Expectations," Big Fun feels like the compendium of sources it is. These tracks are all outtakes from other sessions, most notably Bitches Brew, On the Corner, and others. The other element is that many of these tracks appeared in different versions elsewhere. These were second takes, or the unedited takes before producer Teo Macero and Miles were able to edit them, cut and paste their parts into other things, or whatever. That is not to say the album should be dismissed. Despite the numerous lineups and uneven flow of the tracks, there does remain some outstanding playing and composing here. Most notably is "Great Expectations" from 1969, which opens the album. Here the lineup is Miles, Steve Grossman, Bennie Maupin, John McLaughlin, Khalil Balakrishna, and Bihari Sharma on sitar and tambura, Herbie, Chick Corea, Ron Carter, Harvey Brooks, Billy Cobham, and Airto. Creating a series of vamps from drones and a small melodic figure, there is very little in the way of groove or melodic development until the middle section, where a series of modalities enters the composition. The second album in the set features "Go Ahead John," an outtake from Jack Johnson's sessions that is 28 minutes in length. It's a riff-based groover, with McLaughlin and his wah-wah pedal setting the pace with Steve Grossman on soprano. The basic motif is the blues, floating around E and Bb flat, but there are modulations introduced by Miles into Db flat that add a kinkier dimension into the proceedings as well. Dave Holland is the bass player, and DeJohnette is the drummer. There is no piano. What's most interesting about this date is how it prefigures what would become "Right Off" from Jack Johnson. It doesn't have the same fire, nor does it manage to sustain itself for the duration, but there are some truly wonderful sections in the piece. This is for Miles fans only, especially those of his electric period, because it fills in the puzzle. The reissue added four bonus tracks to the original double-LP set, but other than "Recollections" by Zawinul, they shed little light on the mystique and development of the intensely creative music being developed in 1969 and 1970. Others should be directed to Bitches Brew, In A Silent Way, Jack Johnson, or Live Evil as starting points.

© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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