Music from a couple of storied and previously unheard recording sessions, which signaled a legendary melding of jazz and rock, is finally seeing the light of day.
Those sessions were produced by jazz legend Miles Davis and Teo Macero on May 14 and May 20, 1969, and featured Davis’ then-wife, Betty (the pair split by the early 1970s) on vocals, as well as regular Miles Davis session bassist Harvey Brooks and Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys bassist Billy Cox.
The work collected on The Columbia Years 1968-1969, with Betty’s full support, mark a moment in time that made a huge difference in both Betty and Miles’ careers. At the sessions, Betty, who had written songs from at least the age of 12, began to solidify her funk style (she had previously had written for the Chambers Brothers), and Miles began truly exploring the intersection of jazz and rock. She’s credited with introducing Davis to the music of artists like Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone.
Along with the 1969 session takes, which were remastered from original analog recordings, the compilation includes a re-release of a single Betty originally released in October 1968, as well as rare photos, new interviews and some previously unseen documents.
Check out the album trailer:
If this compilation strikes your fancy, there’s more about Betty on the horizon. A documentary about her is in the works.
The Columbia Years 1968-1969 Track List:
- Hangin’ Out
- Politician Man
- Down Home Girl
- Born on the Bayou
- I’m Ready, Willing & Able (Take 1)
- I’m Ready, Willing & Able (Take 9)
- It’s My Life (Alternate Take)
- Live, Love, Learn
- My Soul Is Tired