From Metallica to Miles, we are covering all of the musical bases on Blerd Radio, the podcast that (usually) discusses the history and legacy of classic albums.

In this episode, Big Money Mike Joseph, Dr. Z and Michael Parr hop in the wayback machine and land in 1970, when Miles Davis unleashed Bitches Brew upon an unsuspecting public.

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While jazz has always been (and still is, to an extent) a fairly insular musical world, Miles looked to the outside for influence, incurring the occasional wrath of purists, but also gaining cred in the rock and funk worlds. Although when you break Bitches Brew down to brass tacks, it is still very much a jazz album, it can’t be argued that the sounds of acts like Jimi Hendrix and Sly & The Family Stone were beginning to seep into Mr. Davis’s musical vocabulary (thanks, at least in part, to the presence of Miles’ muse and eventual wife, Betty Mabry Davis).

The panel acknowledges that Bitches Brew is not your typical album (no matter what genre you classify it is) and that it was groundbreaking for its time. The dense layers of sound provided by Miles, producer Teo Macero, and a sea of musicians at peak capabilities set the stage for what would later become known as jazz fusion. Miles may have sat out a solid chunk of the ’70s, but the musicians who played on Brew went on to define the sound of rock and pop-influenced jazz for the next decade (via Weather Report, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, etc.)

This conversation discusses the album’s unique recording and its iconic legacy, as well as the irascible main artist himself (who we posit is one of, if not the most important musician of the 20th century). We also attempt to define the sound of “rock and roll” in the months and years leading up to Bitches Brew’s release, scratch our heads at the fact that several songs from the album were edited down for single release, and shout out the recent Miles biopic starring Don Cheadle as well as Dogfish Head’s beer tribute to this classic album.

Listen in the player below, or you can download this episode directly to your computer. You can also stream the episode on Liberated Syndication, or you can subscribe to the Blerd Radio family of podcasts on iTunes. Feel free to leave comments!

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