A Bitches Brew Reading List

I’m of course personally excited to be writing the 33 1/3 book on Bitches Brew, and on the most selfish level it’s the perfect reason to either reread my favorite books on Miles or else read ones that are new to me, for information, critical thinking and the overall context of the music. Here’s my current reading list (in no particular order):

  • Miles: The Autobiography, Miles Davis with Quincy Troupe
  • Miles Davis: The Definitive Biography, by Ian Carr
  • So What: The Life of Miles Davis, by John F. Szwed
  • Milestones: The Music and Times of Miles Davis, by J.K. Chambers
  • The Studio Recordings of the Miles Davis Quintet, 1965-68, by Keith Waters
  • Downbeat Hall of Fame Series, The Miles Davis Reader, by Frank Aklyer
  • Running the Voodoo Down: The Electric Music of Miles Davis, by Phil Freeman
  • Miles Davis Reader, edited by Bill Kirchner
  • It’s About that Time: Miles Davis On and Off the Record, by Richard Cook
  • The Miles Davis Companion: Four Decades of Commentary, edited by Gary Carner
  • Miles Davis and American Culture, edited by Gerald Early
  • The History of Jazz, by Ted Gioia
  • Birds of Fire: Jazz, Rock, Funk and the Creation of Fusion, by Kevin Fellezs
  • You’ll Know When You Get There: Herbie Hancock and the Mwandishi Band, by Bob Gluck
  • The Cool School: Writing from American’s Hip Underground, edited by Glenn O’Brien
  • Birth of the Cool: Beat, Bebop, and the American Avant Garde, by Lewis MacAdams
  • The Birth (and Death) of the Cool, by Ted Gioia

You can see the whole list collected here. I’m also deeply curious about Enrico Merlin’s Bitches brew. Genesi del capolavoro di Miles Davis, but I’m wary of getting bogged down in the translation when I should be writing (and if there’s anyone who would like to tackle that for me, I’ll provide a copy of the book as well as acknowledgement and gratitude). Aaaaaaaand, I just discovered this, which appears to be a dissertation set for publication early this year. I imagine the price will drop from $50, but this type of academic book is usually priced out of the market for the general reader.

If you have any reading suggestions or discoveries, let me know in the comments.

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