Miles Davis ‎– Big Fun

Columbia ‎– PG 32866
2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo, Gatefold

Tracklist Hide Credits

A Great Expectations
Bass – Ron CarterBass [Fender] – Harvey BrooksBass Clarinet – Bennie MaupinDrums – Billy CobhamElectric Guitar – John McLaughlinElectric Piano – Chick Corea, Herbie HancockPercussion – Airto MoreiraSitar [Electric], Tambura – Bihari Sharma, Khalil BalakrishnaSoprano Saxophone – Steve GrossmanTrumpet – Miles Davis
B Ife
Bass – Michael HendersonClarinet, Flute – Bennie MaupinDrums – Al Foster, William Hart*Percussion [African] – Mtume*Piano – Lonnie SmithPiano, Sitar – Harold "Ivory" WilliamsSoprano Saxophone – Carlos GarnettSoprano Saxophone, Flute – Sonny FortuneTabla – Badal RoyTrumpet – Miles Davis
C Go Ahead John
Bass – Dave HollandDrums – Jack DeJohnetteGuitar – John McLaughlinSaxophone – Steve GrossmanTrumpet – Miles Davis
D Lonely Fire
Bass – Dave HollandBass [Fender] – Harvey BrooksBass Clarinet – Bennie MaupinDrums – Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnetteElectric Piano – Chick CoreaElectric Piano, Organ [Farfisa] – Joe ZawinulInstruments [Indian] – Airto Moreira, Khalil BalakrishnaSaxophone – Wayne ShorterTrumpet – Miles Davis


Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Other (Cat# Disc 1): C 32867
  • Other (Cat# Disc 2): C 32868

Other Versions (5 of 26) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
C2K 63973 Miles Davis Big Fun(2xCD, Album, RE, RM) Columbia, Legacy C2K 63973 Europe 2000 Sell This Version
S 88024, CBS S 88024, CBS 88024 Miles Davis Big Fun(2xLP, Album) CBS, CBS, CBS S 88024, CBS S 88024, CBS 88024 Europe 1974 Sell This Version
C2K 63973 Miles Davis Big Fun(2xCD, Album, Promo, RE) Columbia, Legacy C2K 63973 US 2000 Sell This Version
36AP 1779~80 Miles Davis Big Fun(2xLP, Album) CBS/Sony 36AP 1779~80 Japan 1974 Sell This Version
SRCS 9737-8 Miles Davis Big Fun(2xCD, Album, RE, RM, Pap) SME Records SRCS 9737-8 Japan 2001 Sell This Version


Reviews Show All 7 Reviews

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June 21, 2017

One of my favorite Miles albums. The line up on the different tracks is unbelievable. You have Hancock, Shorter, Corea, McLaughlin, Carter, Maupin, Airto, Cobham, DeJohnette, Zawinul, Holland et al. How can this be anything less than phenomenal?
Iconic cover.....and Lonely Fire, good lord!


March 7, 2017
Does anyone have any information on Joe Zawinul's track "Muhler Laranja" credited right after Great Expectations on Side 1's label? On my copy it says Great Expectations M. Davis/ Muhler Laranja J. Zawinul (TT 27.34) I don't see anything on here that references that in any of the pressings listed.


November 1, 2016
Great album, at once funky and atmospheric and with so many stretches of great musicianship. The 2000 reissue really adds value - unlike another reviwer here I feel "Recollections" is not boring at all, it has exquisite playing and subtle changes of mood and harmonics. The abundance of sitar and Indian-influenced drumming across several tracks (such as the opener "Great Expectations" is unusual and blends very nicely with Miles' band.

"Ife" is one of the high points of the set, dramatic and groovy and with great interpaly between keyboards, trumpet and drums. For some reason there is no credit for the prominent organ, though it kicks in at once at the opening of the track and then continues for several minutes, and returns in the closing section: does anyone know who is playing here? I was thinking perhaps Keith Jarrett, who was still with Miles' band in the summer of '72 when "Ife" was recorded but left soon afterwards, and who may have had contractual or musical reasons not to want to be credited here when the track was relased two years later. He is known to have played organ in this band, but also sometimes outside of it.

"Go Ahead John" which opens the second disc is an amazing track,. both in its fast and slow sections, and Jack DeJohnette (who is playing drums on many of the tracks) is especially funky in this one.


January 27, 2015
edited over 2 years ago
This and Get up With It are two corner stones of Miles Davis' funk and fusion period but they are also a hodge podge of different line ups and sessions. However each one holds together surprisingly well. Big Fun has two of my favourite tunes but over all Get Up With It is maybe the more consistent as a collection. Both have bad ass covers as well.

Great Expectations is one of my all time favourite Miles tunes, it just has some a huge surging groove and menacing atmosphere. The way it changing into he placid Orange Lady halfway through also works beautifully. It really does remind me of a storm at sea followed by the clam after it blows itself out. Ife is a great groove with some very interesting sound effects that show the influence of Stockhausen on his work, however this piece along with several others from this time really only took shape when played live for instance on his 1973 In Concert album. Go Ahead John showcases Mile's love of blues and illustrates how much of his "funk" and "commercial" phase was really just going back to the blues. A massive track that showcases how much producer and editor Teo Macero brought to the table. The first half is dense and features some furious soloing from John McLaughlin but I love the darker funkier second half even more. The album ends with Lonely Fire which is pleasant ambience but doesn't do much for me.

The CD reissue adds some bonus tracks, Recollections is a massive bore, tedious ambience. Littel Blue Frog is a pleasant jaunty sitar drenched piece that has elements of old school bop Miles. Quite cool and laid back. Trevere is dramatic and gives the impression of constantly starting and restarting without resolving. However has a ton of atmosphere with the shimmering keys and sitar textures. More of an interlude but interesting despite this. Yaphet is another tune with the sitar droning in the background. I read somewhere that Miles just got some guys from a local Indian restaurant to play on his sessions. Nice rim shot driven groove that again just seems to sit in space swirling round and has a definite feel of his earlier In A Silent Way when the high hats come in.

If you like this era of Miles get this for Great Expectations and Go Ahead John, preferably on vinyl so you get the cool cover as you can live without the extra material.

You can see Photek sampling a bit of this album in his studio in this old documentary on drum and bass.

Maningrey at London School of Sound



March 4, 2013
Corky McCoy's artwork is almost reason enough to own this record. The two brothers with afro's and bellbottoms wearing RED, BLACK and GREEN can also be found on Davis' On the Corner album. Musically, Big Fun sounds like a jazz mixtape; with each song the personnel changes so any sembelance of continuity is non-exsistant. If you are familar with Bitches Brew or any other Davis production from the period, you will recognize that Big Fun is essentially outtakes edited into new songs.


March 20, 2011
Don't be afraid to listen to "Lonely Fire" every day for a few months if you need to. It helps.