I woke up the other day after what might be the coolest dream I have ever had. As usual, nothing really made sense; the “plot” began in the middle, so to speak, with no real explanation as to how and why I was in the situation. I wonder if context doesn’t really exist in our dreams.
The first thing I remember was sitting in the recording studio along with Miles Davis and his band c. 1969. I have no idea idea how I got there, or why I was there–I simply “woke up,” so to speak, in the room while the band was playing. They were recording tracks for Bitches Brew, though I don’t know if it was called that, yet. The band was a little smaller than on the album, as I only remember there being one pianist (though I think it was Henrie Hancock, who wasn’t in the band anymore ... ). Strangely, I was aware of this problem during the dream, as I remember thinking, “Where is Chick Corea?” (Though I didn’t seem to have a problem with Herbie Hancock playing piano.) There was only one drummer as well.
At a few points during the session the band members talked about what they were doing, how “odd” it was. They were wondering where it was going, how each track would unfold. I got the sense that they really were “experimenting” with ideas and were a little lost, even doubting the direction they were going. Miles seemed pretty sure of what he is doing, but the others were kind of scared as to what this might do to their careers. I thought (in the dream), “Guys! This is amazing! What you are doing is going to change just about everything! This album is often called one of the best and most important in all of jazz! Seriously, just listen to this stuff!” I couldn’t say this, of course, because that would be weird, telling these guys that I was from the future ... apparently my dream-state logic has no hang ups about traveling to and from the past, but alerting others to this strange phenomenon was too weird. Still, the others in the room were clearly aware of my presence, as they looked my way several times and reacted to some of my reactions.
Perhaps the best part of all of this was when Dave Holland decided, who knows why, decided to let me sit in on bass. Yes, I was playing bass alongside Tony Williams and Herbie Hancock (even though he shouldn’t have been there), Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter. I showed him the ostinato that ended up in the final versions of the title track, “Bitches Brew.”
Then, I woke up. That’s the worst part of cool dreams. The good news, though, is that the first thing I did that morning was listen to Bitches Brew, and the dream version of me was right, it is amazing. (Don’t worry, I listened through headphones so my wife didn’t have to listen. I am pretty sure she would hate it.)