Betty Davis’ funk albums from 1973-1975 were reissued in recent years by Light in the Attic. But before those records were made, Betty and her then-husband Miles Davis recorded sessions at Columbia’s 52nd Street Studios on May 14 and 20, 1969. Miles and Teo Macero produced the sessions, which featured Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, John McLaughlin, Mitch Mitchell (the Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer), and others. They covered Cream and Creedence Clearwater and recorded originals by Betty, but the songs were never released. Those sessions have now been unearthed and remastered, and are released today as The Columbia Years 1968-1969, via Light in the Attic.
The Columbia Years also features recordings from a 1968 Los Angeles Columbia session featuring Hugh Masekela and members of the Crusaders. All but one of the songs on the collection are previously unreleased. Since the 1969 sessions predate Bitches Brew, the album’s bio notes that these sessions are integral to Miles’ discography (“the true birth of Miles’ jazz-rock explorations”).
The album was made with Betty’s cooperation; the liner notes feature a new interview with her.