21 November 2012
Articles | News

Letter: Miles Davis

"Miles called and said he wants this album to be titled 'Bitches Brew'. Please advise"

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Crapping it, much? This here is a memo written by late producer Teo Macero to Columbia record executives in 1969, informing them of Miles Davis’ provocative choice of title for his new record.

Interestingly, Macero had a slightly different recollection of the story when speaking in a 2002 interview for WQCS. Telling interviewer Bobby Jackson he thought Davis was “kidding” when he first suggested the name, he went on to add:

“You never knew whether Miles was kidding or not. I never took him too seriously. We got along well. We had some arguments about music in the studio. When he would say he wanted it this way, I said, ‘Fine, I can dig it. Good, let’s do it. Whatever you want to do… I’m right there. I’m right behind you 100%. If those birds at CBS don’t like it, I’ll scream bloody murder.’ And that’s what I used to have to do! Bitches Brew! ‘Man, we can’t put that on a record!’ I said, ‘Look, put that on the record. Miles wants it, I want it, that’s the way it go.’ We had as producers almost complete control because the sales people would have to take whatever we gave them.”

Bitches Brew went on to sell 500,000 copies by 1976, making it the first gold record of Davis’ career. Macero, who died in 2008, is also remembered for his innovative production work on Dave Brubeck’s Time Out and other Davis classics such as Kind Of Blue and In A Silent Way.

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[via Letters Of Note]

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