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Miles Davis and the Importance of Challenging Music

on March 19, 2020, 10:40am

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Jazz can often be seen as a genre that challenges listeners, but one of the greatest jazz records of all time — Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew — was born out a need to challenge the genre, to push back on the establishment, and to break down old conventions and notions about what jazz could be.

Davis saw the future of music coming fast, and it was in funk and rock. If he didn’t catch up, he and jazz would get left in the dust. What resulted from this future forward approach would not only change the genre, but launch Davis from the dark basements of jazz fame to the main stages of stardom.

This season, The Opus has booked some time at Columbia’s Studio B, where host Andy Bothwell has dialed things back to August 1969. His first night’s guests include: Deantoni Parks (The Mars Volta/Technoself), Daedelus (Brainfeeder/Berklee College of Music), Loren Schoenberg (Julliard/National Museum Of Jazz), and writer George Grella.


Together, they discuss the importance of challenging music like Bitches Brew and detail how this Grammy-winning album shook up the world of jazz and brought a legend into the mainstream. So, pull up a chair, make yourself a drink, and listen above.

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, stream a legacy edition of Bitches Brew via all major streaming services. You can also enter to win the massive 43-CD The Genius of Miles Davis box set, which includes the four-disc The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions.

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