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Album Review: Miles Davis - The Complete On The Corner Sessions
(6+ hours of BUTTHOLEFUNK)

Click Here to get more info about Miles Davis - The Complete On The Corner Sessions Since Soul-Patrol started, I have probably written more about Miles Davis - "On the Corner" more than any single album. It's probably my favorite album of all time, and it's been a major inspiration in my life. "On the Corner" is a major inspiration in the creation of Soul-Patrol.com, as well it should be. After all it's the greatest funk album that's ever been made and it was created by the greatest funk band that has ever existed. After Miles Davis was inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame a few years ago, I thought that I would never write about this album again. (never say never)

Listening to the original "On the Corner" LP was a mind blowing experience for me right from the first time that I heard it, as a teenager, that it has been something that I have always carried with me into adulthood. I have played that album over and over again on turntables, 8-track players, cassette tapes, compact discs, mp3's and even inside of my head more times than I could ever hope to tabulate.

I'm hardly an objective reviewer, I'm a huge fan of the album, the concept, the reality, the vision, the execution, the silliness and the depth of it all.

Of course over the years, most of the members of the Miles Davis Band have become friends of mine. They found me, because of "On the Corner". While their artistry is something that can never be duplicated, it is their friendship that I most treasure. In the liner notes it says that "the reason that Miles Davis played with his back to the audience, wasn't because he didn't respect the audience, Miles said it was because he wanted to hear and watch his band play..." You see, Miles Davis knew what I knew, that his band was in fact the greatest funk band on the planet!!!

Because of "On The Corner" I have been able to meet the family of Miles Davis, and that is a good thing, since I never got to meet Miles Davis himself. Since I met them, they watch over me and check up on me, just as they should given that we must have all come from "the same plantation."

I say all of this you because what is obvious to me, and will become obvious to you if you listen to Miles Davis - "The Complete On The Corner Sessions" is that it is an album that can't really be reviewed in the conventional sense. I suppose if I were a "conventional album reviewer" I would tell you that Miles Davis - "The Complete On The Corner Sessions" contains the songs that were on the original "On the Corner", plus studio versions of material that we heard on "Miles Live at the Filmore", "Get Up With It" and "Big Fun", plus other studio material that we may or may not have ever heard in the past, but was all recorded at around the same time frame as the orginal "On The Corner" was and some how all sounds like it all fits together.

However I am not a conventional album reviewer. All you really want to know is, should you buy it? If you are interested in providing for yourself (or those around you) a funk music experience that will be unparalled in your lifetime, then of course you should buy it. For 6 + hours you can totaly imerse yourself into a world of audio expression, that takes you from Africa to the ghetto and back, riding shotgun in Miles Davis's "duce & a quarter", with the accelerator "floored" for the entire journey. The simplicity and elegance of this artistry jumps right out from the speakers, grabs you by the throat and forces you to understand funk music at it's most elementry and it's most complex level at the same time. It's the original "On The Corner" multiplied by six.

Listening to Miles Davis - "The Complete On The Corner Sessions", is kind of like watching like Reggie Jackson hitting a 3 run homer, Dr J taking off from the foul line for a one handed dunk, Willie Mays making a basket catch, Gayle Sayers running 70 yards for a touchdown with no blockers, Jackie Robinson stealing home, a Magic Johnson no look pass, an Earl Monroe spinning drive to the basket, the Ali Shuffle, Roberto Clemente, throwing someone out at home from right field on a dead run, Bo Jackson running around/over a whole field full of tacklers, and a Wes Unseld pick at the top of the key, all at the same time.

It is so utterly and complete a "deconstruction and reconstruction" of everything that came before it that it was (paraphrasing Nelson George) an "elevation of the game". In fact it was an "elevation", so complete in meeting it's objective that there was really no place else for these players to go. So Michael Henderson, Mtume, Reggie Lucas & Lonnie Liston Smith went into "pop music" and Miles Davis "went on vacation" until 1981.

The real question that should be asked about Miles Davis - "The Complete On The Corner Sessions", isn't really "should I buy it?", the real question that should be asked, is "how much funk is my mind/body capable of absorbing?"

In fact this 6 disc set is so magnificent, that I don't even feel like it's supposed to be "reviewed" at all. Hell I'm honored just to be able to listen to it. (over and over again)

Track Listing For:
Miles Davis - "The Complete On The Corner Sessions"

Disc: 1
1. On the Corner
2. On the Corner
3. One And One
4. Medley: Helen Butte/Mr. Freedom X
5. Jabali

Disc: 2
1. Ife
2. Chieftain
3. Rated X
4. Turnaround
5. U-Turnaround

Disc: 3
1. Billy Preston
2. The Hen
3. Medley: Big Fun/Holly-Wuud
4. Medley: Big Fun/Holly-Wuud
5. Peace
6. Mr. Foster

Disc: 4
1. Calypso Frelimo
2. He Loved Him Madly

Disc: 5
1. Maiysha
2. Mtume
3. Mtume
4. Hip-Skip
5. What They Do
6. Minnie

Disc: 6
1. Red China Blues
2. Medley: On the Corner/New York Girl/Thinkin' Of One Thing And Doin'
Another/Vote For Miles
3. Black Satin
4. One And One
5. Medley: Helen Butte/Mr. Freedom X
6. Big Fun
7. Holly-Wuud

Personnel: Miles Davis (trumpet, electric piano); Pete Cosey (guitar, drums); Cornell Dupree, Dominique Gaumont, John McLaughlin, Reggie Lucas, Dave Creamer (guitar); Colin Walcott, Khalil Balakrishna (electric sitar); Bennie Maupin (flute, bass clarinet); Dave Liebman (flute, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Sonny Fortune (flute, soprano saxophone); Wally Chambers (harmonica); Carlos Garnett (sopranino saxophone, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Dave Lieberman, John Stubblefield (soprano saxophone); Harold Ivory Williams, Herbie Hancock (electric piano, organ, synthesizer); Cedric Lawson (electric piano, organ); Lonnie Liston Smith (electric piano); Chick Corea (synthesizer); Michael Henderson (electric bass); Billy Hart (drums, cowbells, wood block, percussion); Jack DeJohnette, Al Foster, Bernard Purdie (drums); Mtume (congas, claves, percussion); Don Alias (congas, kalimba, percussion); Badal Roy (tabla).Producers: Teo Macero; Billy JacksonCompilation Producers: Bob Belden; Michael Cuscuna.


--Bob Davis



SOUL-PATROL.NET RADIO CELEBRATES THE INDUCTION OF MILES DAVIS INTO THE ROCK N' ROLL HALL OF FAME

MILES DAVIS: IN CONCERT

LISTEN TO MILES DAVIS: IN CONCERT: Rated X, Honky Tonk, Theme From Jack Johnson, Black Satin/The Theme, Ife, Right Off/The Theme + a little Jimi & Sly during the breaks


Soul-Patrol Newsletter Headlines

* "IN A SILENT WAY" - The Beginning

* "BITCHES BREW" - The Critics Choice

* "A TRIBUTE TO JACK JOHNSON" - Black Man With Backbone

* "MILES DAVIS IN CONCERT" - Black Satin

* "ON THE CORNER" - Revolution of the Mind

* "DARK MAGUS" - Miles REALLY Runs Tha Voodoo Down

* THE REST OF THE STORY: Filles De Kilimanjaro, Big Fun, Live-Evil, Black Beauty: Live At Fillmore West, Live At Fillmore: Live At The Fillmore East, Get Up With It, Pangaea, Agharta, Water Babies



Welcome To The "MILESZONE" of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter



IN A SILENT WAYMiles Davis is going to be inducted into the RRHOF in about a week or so in NYC. I plan on being there to cover it for Soul-Patrol.com, as we do every year. Of course this is quite special for me on a personal level, since Miles Davis is one of the foundational artists in the creation of the Soul-Patrol website!

And just in case anyone reading this doesn't belive that I am a true blue, dyed in the wool "MF" (Miles Fan), just take a glance at the picture to the left where you see me croutched over (with my ON THE CORNER T-SHIRT which as you will see later I get a lot of wear out of) in front of Michael Henderson and Badal Roy of the Miles Davis Band (along with Sarah Hill of SISTAFACTORY) at Joe's Pub in NYC a couple of years ago!!!.

I haven't listened to any Miles Davis music since it was announced that he would be entering the RRHOF in December. I promised myself that I wouldn't until now, just prior to the event.

That's cuz I'm trying to get my head straight for the RRHOF Inductions, so I just got thru listening to "KIND OF BLUE" for the umteenth hundreth time in my life....

So now I'm ready to enter into my 70's Miles Groove. Right now I am still under the assumption that Miles is being inducted into the RRHOF because of the ferocious music that he produced during the period of 1969-1976 that was such a tremendous influence on artists like Hendrix, Santana and others (although nobody at the RRHOF has actually confirmed that to me), so that is what I am focusing on. I've written quite a bit about the music and impact of the music of Miles Davis over the years and in fact his music is one of the cornerstones of the Soul-Patrol website. I don't really plan on writing anything more at this point. Now is the time for me to ask questions.

I got a glass of "Iced Tea", got on my headphones and now I am good to go....
As I am listening to this music I am surfing the net and writing down a list of questions that I am going to ask people when I go to the induction ceremonies next week

Up first will be the fairly conventional:
"IN A SILENT WAY"...(The one that really started the 1970's for Miles Davis)


--Bob Davis
earthjuice@prodigy.net


"IN A SILENT WAY" - The Beginning

IN A SILENT WAY Listening to "IN A SILENT WAY" in 2006 is kinda like watching a movie that you have already seen before. You already know how the story is going to end, but you have to see it thru all of the way because you know that you just have to because the ending is so cool. If Herbie Hancock is in the house next week (as has been rumored) I will certainly ask him about this.

Parts of "IN A SILENT WAY" sound very much like the kind of thing that we would hear in the 1970's coming out of CTI. It's very funky in places, yet it sounds tentative in making the move. The personnel included Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Tony Williams, Dave Holland Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter and John McLaughlin. It sounds tame compared to what we all know is coming later.

Of course "IN A SILENT WAY" is a very important milestone:

- It's the very last album with the legendary second quintet
- It's the first album where "Miles goes electric"

And it's Miles "going electric" that caused all of the controversy, much as Bob Dylan did when he "went electric"



Bob Davis:
earthjuice@prodigy.net

"BITCHES BREW" - The Critics Choice

BITCHES BREW I remember when "BITCHES BREW" first came out. I remember hearing about it first on New York City's "free form rock station" WNEW-FM. And I remember all of the Jocks there like Scott Muni, Rosko and others raving about it on the air. "BITCHES BREW" picks up where "IN A SILENT WAY" leaves off and the disc #1 isn't much different than "IN A SILENT WAY". That is no surprise, since the personnel isn't really much different then the personnel that Miles used on "IN A SILENT WAY".

It's when you get to disc #2 that you start to hear the level of STANK begin to grow because Miles begins to let the players groove and the proceedings become less dominated by the trumpet.

"BITCHES BREW" is a great example of "electric jazz" and it's a great follow up to "IN A SILENT WAY", but it's NOT a Rock n' Roll" album at all. I dunno why those "rock jocks" got all excited about it? Perhaps they just dug the electronic sounds? Perhaps it was the "payola" of the Columbia Record Company? Fundamentally "BITCHES BREW" is really just a "regular jazz album played with electric instruments". Despite all of the hype about this album, Miles is really still evolving this whole thing. I don't think that Miles had yet started checking out Jimi Hendrix or had even met him yet.

And I think that this is part of the problem today for people who say that Miles Davis doesn't belong in the RRHOF. The problem is that in all likelihood the ONLY Miles Davis album they have ever listened to is "BITCHES BREW", and if that is the case, then I might be inclined to agree with them. I remember that later in the 1970's just about every white guy whose dorm room I went into had a copy of "BITCHES BREW". I guess they must have listened to all of the "free form rock" DJ's around the country and brought the album so they could "feel cool". Here in 2006 my guess is that most of the "rock audience's" only knowledge of Miles Davis, prior to the 1980's when there were Miles Davis video's played on VH-1, is "BITCHES BREW"?

The most revolutionary thing about "BITCHES BREW" in my opinion was the album cover. It surely must have been one of the very first "afrocentric album covers" and in that respect was the beginning of something quite significant.





MILES DAVIS: IN CONCERT

LISTEN TO MILES DAVIS: IN CONCERT: Rated X, Honky Tonk, Theme From Jack Johnson, Black Satin/The Theme, Ife, Right Off/The Theme + a little Jimi & Sly during the breaks


"A TRIBUTE TO JACK JOHNSON" - Black Man With Backbone

Marvin Gaye "A TRIBUTE TO JACK JOHNSON" is flat out one of the 10 greatest albums ever recorded. It's not only essential listening for anyone who wants to understand why Miles Davis belongs in the RRHOF, but its essential listening for anyone who wants to understand the convergence of musical styles that Miles Davis was working with and working towards.

Right from the first note, even before the needle is dropped, you can tell that "A TRIBUTE TO JACK JOHNSON" is going to be different. Starting with the album cover. On the front we see a stark black and white photo of Miles in a white t-shirt playing the trumpet, against a totally black background. In the photo Miles is leaning back so far that his back is almost parallel to the ground.

You are all familiar with this photo, because it is a silhouette of this photo of Miles Davis that Sony Music uses as the "Miles Davis Logo"

Just to the left we can see in large BOLD white typeface....

MILES DAVIS

(and then in a font so small you can barely see it)
"a tribute to"

(and just below that once again in in large BOLD white typeface....)

JACK JOHNSON

So the net effect of all of this is that we see the photo of Miles and then just to the left we see:

MILES DAVIS
JACK JOHNSON

So the effect is that Miles has equated himself with Jack Johnson

Then when you flip the album cover over you see a painting of a huge gold convertible limo being driven by a large Black man with 4 white female passengers. the just to the left we see the very same bold lettering that appears on the front cover...

MILES DAVIS
JACK JOHNSON


Obviously there are many ways that this album cover can be interpreted. My own personal interpretation is that...

"While Jack Johnson might have constantly found his back up against the wall because of the white man, Miles Davis had discovered a way to bend his back in such a way that the white man could NEVER have his back up against the wall..."

(Your interpretation of this may vary....)

The album Jack Johnson only consists of two tracks:
-Right Off
-Yesternow

And on the original LP each one of these tracks took up the whole side of the LP.

Once you actually start to play the album you immediately recognize the difference between it and "BITCHES BREW/IN A SILENT WAY". The album "A TRIBUTE TO JACK JOHNSON" is defiantly a "rock n; roll album".

The personnel had changed quite a bit. By this time the only players left from Miles 1960's group were Herbie Hancock and John McLaughlin. Anchoring the proceedings now is Motown/Detroit bassist Michael Henderson who provides a non stop funk groove. That groove is juxtaposed against the fierce rock guitar of John McLaughlin. The song "Right Off" is an expansion of some the ideas first introduced by Jimi Hendrix on "Axis Bold as Love". On the second song Yesternow" Henderson and McLaughlin continue to dominate but Miles Davis finds his "voice" inside of the space guitar/bass virtuoso mix. The trumpet comes in thru the side door and joins in the groove.

This album is an act of rebellion on multiple levels:

- On a musical level Miles Davis is playing rock n' roll in a bold move that must have infuriated "jazz critics".

- At the end of the song "Yesternow" we hear the voice of Miles Davis speak for the first time. Only it's not via the trumpet, it's channeled thru the actor Brock Peters who gives us a summary description of Jack Johnson's life & career. It is then that as listeners we suddenly remember that this album is supposed to actually be the soundtrack of a movie about Jack Johnson. Hearing the voice of Brock Peters is a sudden shock to one's ears after listening to about 50 minutes of blistering instrumental rock n' roll. While the voice is that of Peters, the words are clearly those of Miles Davis and while they are about Jack Johnson, clearly those words are equally about Miles Davis.

- Miles Davis had wanted Jimi Hendrix to join his band and play the guitar on the album "A TRIBUTE TO JACK JOHNSON". Since that wasn't possible, John McLaughlin stands in for Hendrix. In some ways the album can be viewed as a huge "shout out" to Jimi Hendrix. If you listen to the song "South Saturn Delta" by Jimi Hendrix containing that great trumpet solo, the only song I am aware of by Hendrix that contains a trumpet, clearly Jimi Hendrix is giving a huge "shout out" to Miles Davis.

The year was 1970 and the album "A TRIBUTE TO JACK JOHNSON" came in second to the WOODSTOCK album in the balloting for album of the year at the Grammys. That was unprecedented for a "jazz album", but that was one year when the Grammy voters got it right. Obviously no album was going to beat out WOODSTOCK for "album of the year". However the Grammy voters clearly acknowledged the genius of Miles Davis and the "fusion" that he had created. If Miles had stopped right there and continues to create more albums in the same vein as "A TRIBUTE TO JACK JOHNSON" there is little doubt in my mind that he would have became a great "rock star". However Miles Davis was already a "star" and he was on a mission to literally redefine music.



"MILES DAVIS IN CONCERT" - Black Satin

MILES DAVIS IN CONCERT The album "MILES DAVIS IN CONCERT" sounds very much like Miles Davis had "od'ed" on Sly Stones "THERE'S A RIOT GOING ON". It was recorded live at NYC's Philharmonic Hall in 1972.

This album so soooo damned FUNKY that it will make you cut off your nose. A few years ago when I interviewed Freddie Stone (of Sly and the Family Stone) he told me that Miles Davis used to come to the band's rehearsals and lay on the floor taking notes. I guess that the album "MILES DAVIS IN CONCERT" is the result of all that "note taking".

The inside gatefold cover is quite revealing as to just what the intentions of Miles Davis for this album was. On the left side of the gatefold is a cartoon drawing of an integrated "rock band" called "FOOT FOOLER". On the right hand side of the gatefold is a cartoon drawing of a "temptations like" male vocal group called "SLICKAPHONICS". The implication is that when you put the two concepts together you end up with "MILES DAVIS IN CONCERT" (which is really an even FUNKIER instrumental version of Sly and the Family Stone).

So if "JACK JOHNSON" was Miles "ode to Hendrix", then the album "MILES DAVIS IN CONCERT" is really Miles "ode to Sly Stone".

If you were a fan of "THERE'S A RIOT GOING ON" by Sly and the Family Stone then you will LOVE the album "MILES DAVIS IN CONCERT". The first time I heard it I was blown away. If you are the type of person who wants your...

FUNK SMASHED RIGHT UP
AGAINST YOUR FACE


(like I am)

Then this is the Miles Davis album you should buy :)

I'm certain that "MILES DAVIS IN CONCERT" must have influenced George Clinton, Sun Ra, Santana, Frank Zappa, Shuggie Otis and others because I can hear elements of it in all of their later music.

Significantly there is a huge change in the players in the Miles Davis Band at this point....
Nobody is left from Miles 1960's band and now we have Carlos Garnett, Cedric Lawson, Reggie Lucas, Khalil Balaskrishna, Michael Henderson, Al Foster, Badal Roy and James Mtume.

So Miles at this point has completely expunged all traces of a traditional "jazz band" and now has put together what is in my opinion probably the greatest collection of funk musicians ever. In other words, MILES DAVIS IS AS SERIOUS AS A HEART ATTACK!!

And Miles needs the skills that these players bring to the table, because he is about to practically create a brand new genre of music...that I simply call: "FUNK +"

Bob Davis:
earthjuice@prodigy.net

"ON THE CORNER" - Revolution of the Mind

ON THE CORNERIt's been so long now that I can't remember:
Was it Ray Brown? Or maybe it was Steve Bishop? Maybe it was Kevin Amos? Maybe it was someone else? Here in 2006 I honestly can't remember who it was, but at some point during the spring of 1974 I was 17 years old and one of my friends at the University of Pittsburgh turned me on to an LP called "ON THE CORNER" by Miles Davis and it changed my life and that's when I officially became an "MF" ("Miles Fan"....take your minds out of the gutter.....lol)

NOTE: I have since been informed that it was Aaron Clausell who first turned me on to "ON THE CORNER"

I wish that there was a way for me to describe in text what it felt like for me the very first time I heard the LP "ON THE CORNER" by Miles Davis, however text is too limited of a medium to describe it except to say that it...

BLEW MY MIND

- In some ways "ON THE CORNER" by Miles Davis is the "ultimate freakout"?
- It's a "dark and disturbing" album?
- It's "FUNK +"?

Hell, I don't know how to really describe it.

"ON THE CORNER" was the first Miles Davis album that I ever listened to from start to finish with total concentration of mind and spirit. Oh I had listened to all of the other "Electric Miles LP's", but my listening to them was really only "casual". That wasn't unusual; there weren't many 17 year old Black kids who were listening very deeply to Miles Davis LP's at that time. Of course everyone knew who Miles Davis was at that time. We knew that he was a great Jazz trumpet player who had started his career in the 1940's, learning his craft at the knees of people like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Eckstein, Max Roach and others. We knew that Miles had become a full blown Jazz star in the 1950's/1960's. We knew that all of the sudden young white boys had started liking him in the 70's. We knew that Miles had become a heroin addict at some point and kicked it. We knew that Miles Davis was not only a key figure in the history of Jazz, but also a key figure in Black history. And of course we knew that Miles Davis had once been involved with the actress Cicely Tyson and had also been married to then current Funk music "Amazon Queen" Betty Davis.

But in reality most 17 year old Black kids that I knew at that time wouldn't be caught dead listening to Miles Davis or any other Jazz artist in 1974. In 1974 ours was a world that had as its epicenter the world of "commercial funk music" that we listened to on weak signaled Black radio stations, located at the far right hand side of the radio dial. We dug artists like Mandrill, Ohio Players, James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, Al Green, EWF, Edwin Birdsong, War and others. You might ask why Funkadelic isn't on the list. Well in reality at this point in time, Funkadelic was really a "cult band". In 1974 the music of Funkadelic wasn't really played on commercial radio and it wasn't a part of the mix for the average Black teenager. Much like the music of Miles Davis it was completely outside of the musical scope of most Black teenagers who didn't live on college campuses. The average Black teenager in 1974 hated the music of Funkadelic (if they were exposed to it at all) because it sounded like "rock sh*t".

In 1974 I was living on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh and got turned on to first Funkadelic and then more importantly to "ON THE CORNER".

To the "naked ear" "ON THE CORNER" sounds like a muddled mess of disparate sounds. I have played the album for many people over the years who have asked me to take it off within the first 60 seconds and imply that I was crazy for even listening to it myself.

The whole thing about "ON THE CORNER" is that your mind and spirit has to be open to it and most people don't have open minds. However if you were a college student at the University of Pittsburgh in 1974 walking around in a "purple haze" most of your waking hours, then your mind was automatically "open" to this music.

What Miles did was to take the concepts of Sly and the Family Stone (specifically the song "SEX MACHINE" from the STAND" LP) and expand it into what is really one extended jam that takes up both sides of an album. The groove is so awesome that it takes repeated listening in order to actually break it down. But it's not easy to listen to the first time and by the time I heard it for the first time in 1974 the album was already two years old.

What I didn't know was that "ON THE CORNER" had been a commercial failure and was widely regarded as an artistic failure by most fans and critics. What I later discovered was that the album had never reached it's intended marketplace and that was probably part of the reason for it's commercial failure. You see, Miles Davis had conceived of the album "ON THE CORNER" specifically to reach Black teenagers. It's now famous album cover looks like a scene straight out of a Blaxploitation movie. However what Miles should have known is that since most Black teenagers at that time listened only to those low powered Black radio stations at the end of the dial, chances were between "zero and none" that they were ever going to even get to hear "ON THE CORNER". It's probably the most "radio unfriendly album" ever made!

The Miles Davis Band (now including Lonnie Liston Smith un credited) is the tightest & grooviest funk band known to the universe. "ON THE CORNER" originally came out in 1972, the same year as "MILES DAVIS IN CONCERT". The song "BLACK SATIN" appears on both albums so if you have both albums, you will have in your possession both a live and a studio version of the song.

"BLACK SATIN" is bass player Michael Henderson's and Tabla drummer Badal Roy's "tour de force" and the song is truly powerful in the way it acts on one's mind and spirit. It's probably the sickest, most super nasty example of what Henderson calls "buttholeFUNK". "BLACK SATIN" was the very last song at the end of the first side of the LP and as soon as it would end, someone in the room would immediately run over to the turntable, lift up the tone arm and drop it right in the groove between "VOTE FOR MILES" and "BLACK SATIN".

Today whenever I get a chance to see my friends from the University of Pittsburgh, we ALWAYS sit back, have a few "iced teas" and play the album "ON THE CORNER". And when the song "BLACK SATIN" comes to an end, we ALWAYS hit the replay button on the CD player. So in effect the song "BLACK SATIN" became a part of the fabric of the lives for me and my friends. It's the ultimate "freakout". In fact this song is so POWERFUL that it became the underlying basis for an entire movie. Go and rent the movie Finding Forrester, starring Sean Connery, Rob Brown, F. Murray Abraham, Anna Paquin, Busta Rhymes, April Grace, and you will see (and hear) what I mean.

Since the advent of the Soul-Patrol.com website (and me actually putting some of my thoughts about this album down on paper) I have become friends with Michael Henderson, Badal Roy, Lonnie Liston Smith and James Mtume and have discussed with them the album, the intent of Miles Davis, it's history and implications for the future many times.

If you go to Amazon.com and look up the album "ON THE CORNER" you can read no less than 73 reviews of the album, most of them glowing and going on and on about it's artistic brilliance. One might ask where all of these people were back in 1972 when "ON THE CORNER" was first released? Well I strongly suspect that most of those 73 people weren't even born yet back in 1972 when "ON THE CORNER" first came out (ok maybe a few of them were in pre-school or something....lol).

To me that speaks volumes. "ON THE CORNER" was so far ahead of it's time that "it's time" probably still hasn't yet been reached.

Revisionist history sure is a "motherf*cker", isn't it?

(And I can't even imagine what Miles Davis himself would have to say about "revisionist historians" if he were around today)

Back in 2002 Michael Henderson, Badal Roy and others formed a reunion/tribute version of the Miles Davis Band that created "ON THE CORNER". They released an album called "REBIRTH" which contained updates to the songs from "ON THE CORNER" and played a series of concerts on the west coast of the United States to launch the new album. And as perhaps the ultimate fan of this album, I traveled to Los Angeles to see one of the concerts at BB Kings nightclub.

Interestingly enough I was to meet an "internet friend" of mine at the club who also happened to be an "MF". I had never met writer Scott Galloway (of the Urban Network) in person before, so I didn't know what he looked like, nor did he know what I looked like. However Scott and I knew each other immediately, because we were both wearing our Miles Davis t-shirts (see below picture). It's always a pleasure meeting another "MF"...


--Bob Davis
earthjuice@prodigy.net

MILES DAVIS: IN CONCERT

LISTEN TO MILES DAVIS: IN CONCERT: Rated X, Honky Tonk, Theme From Jack Johnson, Black Satin/The Theme, Ife, Right Off/The Theme + a little Jimi & Sly during the breaks


"DARK MAGUS" - Miles REALLY Runs Tha Voodoo Down

DARK MAGUS The CD "DARK MAGUS" by Miles Davis is completely documented in detail on the Soul-Patrol Website at the following link:
http://www.soul-patrol.com/jazz/magus.htm

I won't try to recreate here the commentary on that web page. It's one of the most detailed, comprehensive and unique album reviews that you will ever read.

"HALFaTrip" & "nightrain" tell the story of the "DARK MAGUS" CD far better than I ever could...

The CD "DARK MAGUS" was released in 1997 and contains a previously unreleased live concert of the Miles Davis Band circa 1974 from Carnegie Hall in NYC. In the context of this discussion it's significant because in 1974 I saw the Miles Davis Band perform live at the Syria Mosque in Pittsburgh, so the band on "DARK MAGUS" is essentially the same one that I saw perform live in 1974, in Pittsburgh.

Here is what I wrote about that 1974 concert in Pittsburgh...

The show was at the Syria Mosque (a large "acoustically perfect" auditorium seating around 3,500) in 1974. Miles was the opening act for Herbie Hancock who at that time was flying high with the big hit record "Chameleon". Kevin Amos, myself and about 10 of our friends who were also "MF's" "prepared for the show" and then got there early. There were several hundred "MF's" at the show that we knew and it was obvious they had "prepared" as well. I guess one of the biggest surprises to me was the fact that I saw some of the city's" Black Elite" (athletes, entertainers, politicians, etc) in attendance at the show. I was shocked that many of this folks were in to Miles Davis "jazz-funk", but it pleased me none the less.

We had all heard all of the stories about how outrageous Miles was in concert and were prepared to see him do anything from spit at the audience to playing with his back turned. He did neither, when he came out he looked like an "African King".....played the trumpet "hunched over".....he also had a small keyboard right next to him which he played occasionally.

As best I can recall the Miles Davis Band that evening was:

Reggie Lucas - Guitar
Micheal Henderson - Bass
Sonny Fortune - Sax
Mtume - Percussion
Al Foster - Drums
Badal Roy - Tabla Drums

(Somebody help me out here!!!)

I don't remember the names of the songs played that night, but all of the stuff was from "On the Corner", "Get Up With It" & "Big Fun". I sat there in sheer amazement as I watched the "master" go to work. It was a 90 min. workout of pure unadulterated FUNK. Miles himself didn't say one damn word (neither the group nor the songs were introduced) during the whole show!!

To this day....it's the "best concert I have ever attended"!!

Bob Davis:
earthjuice@prodigy.net

THE REST OF THE STORY: Filles De Kilimanjaro, Big Fun, Live-Evil, Black Beauty: Live At Fillmore West, Live At Fillmore: Live At The Fillmore East, Get Up With It, Pangaea, Agharta, Water Babies

Scott and Bob
Unfortunately I have run out of energy to write about Miles Davis 70's music right now. I could actually write about this topic endlessly, but I won't bore you any more for the time being, but here are some more of Miles Davis albums from 1969 to 1976 that I would highly recommend in addition to the one's I have previously discussed:

- Filles De Kilimanjaro
- Big Fun
- Live-Evil
- Black Beauty: Live At Fillmore West
- Live At Fillmore: Live At The Fillmore East
- Get Up With It
- Pangaea
- Agharta
- Water Babies

The music of the Miles Davis Band from 1969 - 1976 is actually an incredible body of work that was produced by what is perhaps the greatest mind boggling aggregation of musicians ever to be put into a studio or to appear together on a stage. It connects Africa to the streets of Urban Amerikka like no music that preceded it or has come since than ever has.

And if that's not Rock n' Roll", than I don't know what is!

Later in his career (the 1980's), Miles Davis became a well known media personality, making numerous TV appearances, granting interviews and enjoying a level of commercial visibility that he richly deserved. However by the time of the 1980's, Miles Davis was no longer a "Rock star", he had become simply a media personality.

In the 1970's Miles Davis was a mysterious artist who communicated little with the mass media, but instead communicated directly with a massive "underground audience" of people who clearly understood that the vision of Miles Davis to create a "ferocious and blistering fusion of rock, funk and jazz from an African perspective" was indeed the next musical step that Rock n' Roll needed to take in the wake of Jimi Hendrix and Woodstock in order to maintain it's artistic integrity.

The fact that the rock n' roll industry failed to embrace this notion is what led to it's own continuing demise starting in the 1980's as it was supplanted by yet a slightly different "ferocious and blistering fusion of rock, funk and jazz from an African perspective", known as Hip Hop.

BIG PROPS TO THE ROCK N' ROLL HALL OF FAME FOR RECOGNIZING THIS

(If indeed that is the reason why Miles Davis is being inducted into the RRHOF)

Bob Davis:
earthjuice@prodigy.net

MILES DAVIS: IN CONCERT

LISTEN TO MILES DAVIS: IN CONCERT: Rated X, Honky Tonk, Theme From Jack Johnson, Black Satin/The Theme, Ife, Right Off/The Theme + a little Jimi & Sly during the breaks



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Bob Davis
earthjuice@prodigy.net

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