When I was a teenager the Dad of one of my friends had a Ford Galaxie automobile. It was the kind of car that many Dad’s drove in those days. The cool thing about this car is that it had a state of the art 8 Track music system. This was before cassette tapes, CD’s, downloads, streaming, or Sirius XM.
My friends and I used to drive around in this car blasting Miles Davis’s “Bitches Brew”. If you are not familiar with this music, let me tell you that it was very heavy stuff for a bunch of white boys living in middle class suburbia. It is real voodoo music. Admittedly, we were usually high when we did this. I am not advocating drug use but it was the sixties and we were part of the times. Later this same summer Miles Davis played in front of 600,000 people at the Isle of Wight Festival in England. He played one long jam that touched on a number of his compositions. When an album of music from the festival came out, Miles was asked what to call his song. He replied, “Call It Anything”. To this day, the music from that day is called by this name.
I thought about this today as I was driving around in my much nicer car with a much better sound system while blasting this album. Most of the songs are very long and the song titles give you a very good idea of the kind of music this is. It is jazzy voodoo like no one had heard at the time. If I was home alone at 3:00 AM in the morning and this music was playing it would scare me. Check out these song titles and playing times.
1. Pharaoh’s Dance 20:05
2. Bitches Brew 26:58
3. Spanish Key 17:32
4: John McLaughlin 4:22
5. Miles Runs The Voodoo Down 14:01
6. Sanctuary 10:58
Many of the musicians who played on this album with Miles went on to their own success. Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul formed Weather Report. John McLaughlin formed the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Chick Corea formed Return To Forever. All of these bands were major players in the world of jazz fusion throughout the 70′s.
Miles Davis is my all time favorite jazz musician. I just think there is no one quite like him. This album only represents a small part of the music of Miles Davis. Check out “Kind Of Blue” or “Sketches Of Spain”, not to mention another favorite of mine called “In A Silent Way”.
I wonder what happened to that Ford Galaxie and the copy of “Bitches Brew” on 8 Track?
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