Reissue with latest remastering. Comes with new liner notes. This cd is the second of 2 put out to chronicle Miles' stay at the Blackhawk in San Francisco in 1961. After a period of transition which included the sometimes uneven results of the "Someday My Prince Will Come" lp, Miles' working band of Hank Mobley on tenor sax, Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers, bass, and drummer Jimmy Cobb, were coming together as a tight unit. Both dates of the Blackhawk shows are prime examples of the greatness of this working group.
In January 1973, David Liebman, the saxophonist who played on the first sessions of On The Corner let himself be persuaded to play with the group. It really wasn’t his kind of music, but he thought that “it was where things were happening,” and as was his habit, he joined the fray. And it was prodigious, even if Miles had reduced his band in an attempt to radicalize the Afro-funk directions of On The Corner. No more keyboards, except for a few touches by Miles himself and no more Indian instruments.
Reissue with latest remastering. Comes with new liner notes. The first of two sets recorded during a weekend in 1961 features the Miles Davis Quintet at a period of time when Hank Mobley was on tenor and the rhythm section was comprised of pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Jimmy Cobb. What is most remarkable is the way Kelly fits into this particular blend of the Miles band. Kelly's interplay with Chambers is especially brilliant, because his sense of blues phrasing inside counterpoint harmony is edgy and large, with left-hand chords in the middle register rather than sharp right-hand runs to accentuate choruses.
Despite the presence of classic tracks like Joe Zawinul's "Great Expectations," Big Fun feels like the compendium of sources it is. These tracks are all outtakes from other sessions, most notably Bitches Brew, On the Corner, and others. The other element is that many of these tracks appeared in different versions elsewhere. These were second takes, or the unedited takes before producer Teo Macero and Miles were able to edit them, cut and paste their parts into other things, or whatever. That is not to say the album should be dismissed.