Eye-catcher: Antoine Pierre Urbex Electric

© Saskia Vanderstichele

To celebrate the fiftieth birthday of Miles Davis's ground-breaking record Bitches Brew, Brussels's drummer Antoine Pierre composed nine new tracks that reflect the spirit of the master.

“One of the most unfuckwithable records of the 20th century,” is how the leading American music website Pitchfork described the album Bitches Brew by Miles Davis, when it was re-released in 2010 to celebrate its fortieth birthday.

Davis’s album was as ground-breaking as it was controversial in 1970. The trumpeter reflected the unrest of the beleaguered black population in the US and he invented a new language by blending together the alphabets of jazz and rock. Some considered it an unrivalled masterpiece, but others thought the freaky twists and turns heralded the end of jazz.

Brussels-based musician Antoine Pierre, who plays drums with TaxiWars and Philip Catherine, belongs to the first category. With his own band Urbex Electric, he is celebrating the iconic album’s fiftieth anniver- sary by...keeping his hands off it. Instead, Pierre composed nine new tracks that won- drously reflect the spirit of Miles Davis’s work.

At the beginning of this year, Pierre played the new music with an XL version of Urbex at the Brussels Jazz Festival at Flagey, and the recording has now been brought together as Suspended. The sultry, metropolitan atmosphere of Bitches Brew is vivified thanks to the fine and inspired trumpet playing by Jean-Paul Estiévenart, Félix Zurstrassen’s funky Fender Rhodes, the nervous electric bass by Jozef Dumoulin, and Bert Cools and Reinier Baas on guitars, but especially also thanks to the unfuckwithable drumming by Pierre himself.

Suspended (Live at Flagey) is out now (Outnote Records)

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