A NIGHT OF MILES AND MINGUS

Featuring Bitches Brew & Mingus Amungus
Great American Music Hall | Friday, November 23
CD Release Party for Bitches Brew’s Bootleg Brew Vol. 1
with DJ Soulsalaam

Two of the Bay Area's most acclaimed ensembles will appear together in a special concert at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on Friday, November 23. Bitches Brew and Mingus Amungus, two pillars of the local music scene who have won accolades for their refreshing and innovative reworkings of the music of jazz legends Miles Davis and Charles Mingus, will share a stage for the first time in what promises to be a landmark evening.

While Bitches Brew draws its inspiration from the experimental early 1970’s electrified space-funk of trumpeter Miles Davis and Mingus Amungus looks to the fiery multilayered acoustic jazz of bassist and composer Charles Mingus, the two groups actually have much in common. Both ensembles use the music of their mentors as a springboard for their own highly creative and personal interpretations, mixing in their own compositions and adding other elements- such as dancers and rappers for Mingus Amungus and electronic textures and rhythms in Bitches Brew- that look to the spirit of Davis and Mingus while avoiding simple note-for-note regurgitations of those masters’ work. And while Davis and Mingus are indeed members of the jazz canon, both Bitches Brew and Mingus Amungus mix in generous dollops of funk, ensuring that while this will be a night of highly creative and original music, the dance floor will be far from empty.

Bitches Brew, named after Davis’ seminal 1969 album, has been winning over Bay Area audiences for two years now with its head-turning spin on Davis’ electro-funk period of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Winners of the SF Weekly’s 2001 Readers Poll for ‘Best Local Band’, the group also was recently honored with an SF Music Award (formerly the Wammies) for ‘Best Jazz Band.’ While the nine-piece band has been putting their own stamp on material from classic albums like On the Corner, Big Fun and of course, Bitches Brew, the group has been introducing more original compositions into its repertoire, furthering Davis’ vision while exploring its own unique path. This special evening at the Great American Music Hall will feature the release of the group’s second CD, Authorized Bootleg Vol. 1, a live compilation culled from performances earlier this year that samples the band’s ferocious live sound to thrilling effect.

Mingus Amungus has been a Bay Area mainstay for years, winning a BAMMIE in 1997 for ‘Most Outstanding Jazz Club Band’, consistently packing local clubs like the Elbo Room and winning accolades from some of the jazz world’s most heralded names- no less a figure than Sue Mingus, the widow of Charles Mingus and the de facto curator of his legacy, declared of the band, “I’m sure Charles would have been knocked out by it.” Mingus Amungus’ 1997 CD, Live In Cuba, was a big seller in local record stores, and the group’s latest disc, Isms, looks to continue that. Impressively reworking some of Mingus’ most ambitious compositions- like “Cumbia and Jazz Fusion," “Haitian Fight Song” and more- Mingus Amungus adds a cross-cultural pollination to the mix, often collaborating with dancers who add breathtaking Brazilian, Haitian and jazz improvisational dance elements to the seven-piece group’s already stunning musical canvas.

BITCHES BREW/ MINGUS AMUNGUS
Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell St | San Francisco | 415.885.0750
Friday, November 23 | Doors 8:30pm/Show 9pm | $10 GA

  • Bitches Brew | www.eargoggles.com/bitchesbrew
  • Mingus Amungus | www.mingusamungus.com
  • [Published on: 11/14/01]

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