The cover art for Santana’s “Abraxas, Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew” and “Live Evil”, and many more were created by Mati Klarwein. This blogpost is about the man and his amazing imagination.
Dali was not the only one in attendance. Musicians loved the place, where eclectic music from Klarwein’s large record collection played in the background. One such musician in particular loved to perch himself in the temple, wash his eyes with the surrealistic paintings, listen to the psychedelic music in the background and engulf himself with purple haze. You guessed it, Jimi Hendrix. Under the influence of dubious substances, some of the musicians started asking Klarwein to create album sleeves for their albums, Hendrix one of them. Klarwein: “We used to share the same tailor, and we would spend afternoons dropping acid and trying out new sets of clothes together. I actually was working on a painting for a record cover to an album that was never finished, where Jimi and Gil Evans were collaborating. Unfortunately Jimi died during the recordings and it was never released.”
and this quote, about the album title (and coffee) “Bitches Brew”.
Miles’ original idea for the title was Witches Brew, but his wife Betty, a young a free spirit very much in tune with the times, suggested changing the first word to Bitches. Notice the absence of an apostrophe at the end of the word “bitches,” making “brew” a verb, not a noun.
Seeing his cover art reminds me of how much was lost when we switched from Vinyl to CDs, not to mention to the present time when cover art is tiny, miniscule.