Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B
Japanese DSD mastered reissue of the late jazz icon's 1974 album. Packaged in a limited edition miniature gatefold LP sleeve for the first pressing. 2001 release. Includes four bonus tracks, 'Recollections', 'Trevere', ... more »
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Japanese DSD mastered reissue of the late jazz icon's 1974 album. Packaged in a limited edition miniature gatefold LP sleeve for the first pressing. 2001 release. Includes four bonus tracks, 'Recollections', 'Trevere', 'The Little Blue Frog' & 'Yaphet'.
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Ambient Meditative Formless Art By a True Master
Earsby | Norman, OK United States | 10/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I regret not listening to this earlier. But I may have not been ready for it when it came. I got into jazz when Jazz-Rock was starting to get a bad name. The Prog-Rock form had become ball-and-chain that caused both Jazz Purists and those searching for a valid creative art form to turn the other way. Pop Jazz, or Fusion, would later become even more formulaic than Rock itself.
Where could Jazz go, in the late 60s? It had transcended form with Free Jazz. Miles knew where it should go. Joe Zawinul knew. Take the heavy electric instrumentation and fuse it with world-class percussion and keep it free from form.
If you listen to Great Expectations and many other cuts on Big Fun, they are largely meditative, and ambient in nature. Sure, there are visitations and re-visitations to the form of melody of Miles' trumpet entering and leaving at times, but overall the sonic landscape resembles more of a living entity--an organic ocean of sound. Waves pass over the listener and if you don't float on this peaceful and funky soup of sound, you'll drown.
The search for a song-form or a repetitive verse chorus aaba song-form with which to hold onto, is something that most listeners take for granted. If you don't have the teat of the rigid form to suck on, then you'll cry and put the music down, which is what critics did back when Miles moved beyond jazz, really. Miles recognized himself first and foremost as an artist and musician--not as simply a Jazz trumpet player, or even a great band-leader, although he was those things. Those who would shortly criticize him for leaving behind his bread-and-butter, were mad because he didn't let them suck on the teat of tried-and-true form.
But Miles was an artist who destroyed the last form of the medium by switching instrumentations and letting-in the age-old perfection of space. He was always a master of space. This album is as much a Miles-stone as Kind Of Blue, and In A Silent Way. It is potentially a deeply spiritual experience to hear this album and it is very personal.
Music and artistry transcending the bounds of time and space as only the great Master could achieve it. Listen to it! You can hear yourself inside it, and in doing so, you can move on from demands that that the music take forms.
In allowing the music to simply BE, you can free yourself. Let yourself go, and become empowered by this beautiful album of sound."
Grigory's Girl | NYC | 07/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is shaping up to be one of my favorite Miles's CD's/albums. It originally was a double album consisting of four side long tracks (and they were long! The longest ran just over 28 minutes). The reissued 2 CD set has the original four songs, but some great bonus material. The album was recorded during the Bitches Brew sessions, but these songs are much more atmospheric, gentle, haunting, and sad than the ones Davis used on the original Bitches Brew album.
Great Expectations is a great song, starting out with a complex rhythm track accenuated by tamboura, sitar, and tabla, then moving into a gorgeous, lyrical second half. Ife has almost the same operandi, starting out rocking then moving into a mystic side. Lonely Fire also runs like this, except it's much more mysterious and mystic with the Indian instruments really giving it some amazing atmosphere. The best song, however, is the wicked Go Ahead John. While the other tracks have as many as eleven musicians, Go Ahead John has only five. John McLaughlin's slashing guitar track is very cutting, then Steve Grossman's saxophone is cutting too. The bonus tracks are good, but the best is the deeply atmospheric Recollections, written by future Weather Report member Joseph Zawinul (he also co-wrote Great Expectations).
Most of this material is on the complete Bitches Brew Sessions 4 CD set. Great Expectations is divided in two songs on that set, on Big Fun it's presented as one 27 1/2 minute song. Lonely Fire, Ife, and all the bonus tracks are also on the Complete Bitches Brew Sessions. The only track that is unique to this reissue is Go Ahead John, but that track is so damn good I would recommend picking Big Fun up even if you already have the Bitches Brew Sessions. Miles was incredibly prolific during the early 1970's, and Big Fun is one of his most overlooked efforts."