Originally released in 1974, Big Fun presents music from three different phases of Miles Davis's early-seventies "electric" period.
Sides one and four ("Great Expectations" and "Lonely Fire") were recorded three months after theBitches Brewsessions and incorporate sitar, tambura, tabla, and other Indian instruments. They also mark the first time since the beginning of Miles Davis's electric period that he played his trumpet with the Harmon mute which had been one of his hallmarks, making it sound much like the sitar. This contributed to creating a very clear and lean sound, highlighting both the high and low registers, as opposed to the busier sound ofBitches Brewwhich placed more emphasis on the middle and low registers.
"Ife" was recorded after the 1972 On the Corner sessions, and the framework is similar to tracks from that record. It has a drum and electric bass groove and a plethora of musicians improvising individually and in combinations over variations on the hypnotic bassline.
Recorded in March 1970, "Go Ahead John" is an outtake from Davis's Jack Johnson sessions. The recording is a riff and groove-based, with a relatively sparser line-up of Steve Grossman on soprano saxophone, Dave Holland on bass, Jack DeJohnette on drums, and John McLaughlin on guitar with wah-wah pedal.