I really enjoy Zappa's jazz-rock music, especially HOT RATS (1969). I always 
used to read rave reviews about Miles Davis' jazz-rock album BITCHES BREW 
(1970), and once in a while IN A SILENT WAY (1969) was mentioned. I have never 
found much to like in either of these two albums, so I figured if these were 
"the best" Miles had to offer from the period when he switched to electric 
instruments, I decided to concentrate instead on his recordings with John 
Coltrane prior to 1956.

Years later I still don't like BITCHES BREW and IN A SILENT WAY very much, but 
I recently discovered that Miles' music before and after BITCHES BREW blows 
that album out of the water (I don't know what the critics were thinking rating 
BITCHES BREW so highly).

The MILES DAVIS QUINTET 1965-'68 (6CD box set) showcases some stunning jazz 
that is just beginning to show rock influences creeping in. Some of the 
original albums represented are E.S.P., MILES SMILES, SORCERER, NEFERTITI, 
MILES IN THE SKY, and FILLES DE KILIMANJARO. If you want to sample only one 
album from this period, I would recommend MILES IN THE SKY.

After BITCHES BREW some great early fusion appears on THE COMPLETE JACK JOHNSON 
SESSIONS (5CD box set). The music was edited and spliced to create the albums 
of the day, something that Zappa had been doing for years, but it was entirely 
new for a jazz artist to be doing this at the time. Be forewarned; this box set 
has many alternate takes that are similar.

The closest thing to HOT RATS from Miles Davis is maybe THE CELLAR DOOR 
SESSIONS (6CD box set). Each of the 6 discs is a different live set from across 
4 days in December 1970. There is some overlap in the music, but if you listen 
to only one set at a time it is mind-blowing.

There's a good interactive Davis discography at
http://rateyourmusic.com/artist/miles_davis
if anyone is interested. The fan reviews there are the reason I started 
checking out these box sets in the first place, after writing off BITCHES BREW 
years ago.

-Bri



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