The Complete On the Corner Sessions

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The Complete On the Corner Sessions
Cornerbox front.png
Box set by
ReleasedSeptember 25, 2007 (2007-09-25)
RecordedJune 1972 – May 1975; March 9, 1972; June 1, 1972; June 6, 1972; June 12, 1972; August 23, 1972; September 6, 1972; December 8, 1972; January 4, 1973; July 26, 1973; September 17, 1973; September 18, 1973; June 19, 1974; October 7, 1974; November 6, 1974; May 5, 1975
StudioColumbia Studio E and B, New York City
GenreJazz-funk, jazz fusion
Length407:13
LabelColumbia, Legacy
ProducerTeo Macero
Miles Davis chronology
A Tribute to Jack Johnson
(1970)
The Complete On the Corner Sessions
(2007)
Big Fun
(1969–1972)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic5/5 stars[1]
BBC(favorable)[2]
Music Box5/5 stars[3]
Pitchfork Media(9.2/10)[4]
PopMatters8/10[5]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[6]

The Complete On the Corner Sessions is a posthumous box set by American jazz musician Miles Davis, released in the US on September 25, 2007 by Columbia Records and in the UK on September 29 on Legacy Recordings.[5] Like other Davis box sets, the included material is taken from a wider chronology of sessions than the dates which actually produced the titular album. The Complete On the Corner Sessions compiles material from 1972 through 1975 which, due to lineup changes Davis made throughout the era, features over two dozen musicians.

Columbia has released a series of ten box sets containing recordings from the 1950s to the 1970s. These contain material not available on other Columbia albums. Following The Complete In a Silent Way Sessions, The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions, The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions, and The Cellar Door Sessions, this release includes the funk/jazz fusion album On the Corner. His band was made up of musicians trained not only in the basics of jazz, but on the newer sounds of James Brown and Sly Stone.

The box set includes more than six hours of music. Twelve of these are previously unissued tracks. Another five tracks are previously unissued in full. They cover sixteen sessions from On the Corner, Big Fun, and Get Up with It until Davis's mid-seventies retirement. Miles is joined in these recordings by Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Jack DeJohnette, Billy Hart, and many others. The 6-CD deluxe edition also contains a 120-page full-color booklet with liner notes and essays by producer Bob Belden, journalist Tom Terrell, and arranger/composer Paul Buckmaster as well as rare photographs and new illustrations.[7]

Recording history[edit]

As with many of the Miles Davis boxed sets, the overall title is rather misleading. The On the Corner boxed set covers three years of sessions, from March 1972 to May 1975, and contains music with different styles, concepts, approaches and personnel. Similarly, The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions includes all of the sessions Davis recorded between August 1969 and February 1970, although the actual Bitches Brew sessions took place over just three days in August 1969.

The sessions for the 1972 album On the Corner were recorded in June and September 1972. On the Corner was scorned by established jazz critics at the time of its release and was one of Davis' worst-selling recordings. Its critical standing has improved with the passage of time; today it is seen as a strong forerunner of the musical techniques of hip hop, drum and bass, and electronic music.

Davis claimed that On the Corner was an attempt to connect with a young black audience which had largely forsaken jazz for rock and funk. While there is a discernible rock and funk influence in the timbres of the instruments employed, from a musical standpoint the album was a culmination of sorts of the musique concrète approach that Davis and producer Teo Macero (who had studied with Otto Luening at Columbia University's Computer Music Center) had begun to explore in the late 1960s. Both sides of the record were based around simple, repetitive drum and bass grooves (the track delineations on the original album were arbitrary), with the "melodic" parts snipped from hours of meandering jams. These techniques, refined via the use of computers and digital audio equipment, are now standard amongst producers of electronically based music. Davis also cited the contemporary composer Karlheinz Stockhausen (who was later falsely rumored to have recorded with the trumpeter in the late 1970s) and Paul Buckmaster (who played electric cello on the album and contributed some arrangements) as musical influences on the album.

Content[edit]

The box set contains over three hours of previously unreleased material. On the November 6, 1974 date, guitarist Pete Cosey replaced Al Foster on drums on "Hip-Skip." Later that day he returned to guitar for "What They Do", playing alongside Dominique Gaumont. "Minnie" is based on the Minnie Ripperton song "Loving You", and is considered to have an almost commercial disco sound, the most mainstream-sounding track of the collection.

The Complete On the Corner Sessions also contains seven of the eight tracks that made up the 1974 double album Get Up with It. (The other track, "Honky Tonk", appears in unedited form on The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions.) Not included in the set is the "Molester" 7" single (a different mix of "Black Satin"), although the record label is included in the booklet.

Track listing[edit]

This list is the same as the provisional one that was published in early 2007, but the CD order was swapped, some of the previously unreleased tracks were edited, and titles were given by Vince Wilburn, Davis' nephew, and Erin Davis, Miles' youngest son.

Disc one
No.Titlerecording dateLength
1."On the Corner (unedited master)"June 1, 197219:25
2."On the Corner (take 4)"June 1, 19725:15
3."One and One (unedited master)"June 6, 197217:55
4."Helen Butte/Mr. Freedom X (unedited master)"June 6, 197223:37
5."Jabali"June 12, 197211:04

Disc 1 remixed by Richard King and Bob Belden in 2007.

Disc two
No.Title...Length
1."Ife"June 12, 197221:33
2."Chieftain"August 23, 197214:37
3."Rated X"September 6, 19726:50
4."Turnaround"November 29, 197217:16
5."U-turnaround"November 19728:27

Track 1 from Big Fun. Track 3 from Get Up With It. Tracks 4 and 5 are outtakes from the same track, sections of which were previously released on Bill Laswell's Panthalassa as Agharta Prelude Dub. See note below. Tracks 2, 3 & 5 remixed by Richard King and Bob Belden in 2007.

Disc three
No.Title...Length
1."Billy Preston"December 8, 197212:33
2."The Hen"January 4–5, 197312:55
3."Big Fun/Holly-wuud (take 2)"July 26, 19736:32
4."Big Fun/Holly-wuud (take 3)"July 26, 19737:07
5."Peace"July 26, 19737:01
6."Mr Foster"September 17, 197315:14

Track 1 from stereo LP master of Get Up With It. Tracks 2-6 remixed by Richard King and Bob Belden in 2007.

Disc four
No.Title...Length
1."Calypso Frelimo"Sep 17, 197332:08
2."He Loved Him Madly"Jun 19, 197432:17

Both tracks from stereo LP master of Get Up With It.

Disc five
No.Title...Length
1."Maiysha"October 7, 197414:51
2."Mtume"October 7, 197415:08
3."Mtume (take 11)"October 7, 19746:51
4."Hip-Skip"November 6, 197418:59
5."What They Do"November 6, 197411:44
6."Minnie"May 5, 19753:53

Tracks 1 & 2 from stereo LP master of Get Up With It. Tracks 3-6 remixed by Richard King and Bob Belden in 2007.

Disc six
No.Title...Length
1."Red China Blues"March 9, 19724:06
2."On the Corner/New York Girl/Thinkin' of One Thing and Doin' Another/Vote for Miles"June 1, 197219:54
3."Black Satin"June 1 and July 7, 19725:15
4."One and One"June 6, 19726:09
5."Helen Butte/Mr. Freedom X (master)"June 6, 197223:14
6."Big Fun"July 26, 19732:32
7."Holly-wuud"July 26, 19732:54

Track 1 from stereo LP master of Get Up With It. Tracks 2-5 are the stereo LP master of On The Corner. Tracks 6 & 7 are the masters for a 45 single, both are taken from Big Fun/Holly-wuud (take 3) (track 4 on CD 3).

Notes[edit]

Note 1: All tracks composed by Miles Davis, unless noted otherwise.

Note 2: All tracks remixed by Richard King and Bob Belden are previously unreleased.

Note 3: On the two Turnaround tracks. The titles are confusing, as "Turnaroundphrase" is the title traditionally given to a completely different piece, namely the opening section of for instance Dark Magus and Pangaea. Saxophonist Dave Liebman called it "Turnaroundphrase", as does Jan Lohmann in his seminal discography on Miles. What's more, Turnaround and U-Turnaround are based on the tune that appears after 22:01 in "Prelude" on Agharta. On the LP version it's actually called "Prelude Pt2." It also appears on another official Sony release, Bill Laswell's Panthalassa. Laswell calls it "Agharta Prelude Dub".

Collective personnel[edit]

Performers by year[edit]

1972
1973
1974

Performers by song[edit]

"Ife" & "Jabali" (12 June 1972 - Columbia Studio E)
"Rated X" (6 September 1972 - Columbia Studio E)
"Billy Preston" (8 December 1972 - Columbia Studio E)
"Calypso Frelimo" (17 September 1973 - Columbia Studio E)
"He Loved Him Madly" (19 or 20 June 1974 - Columbia Studio E)
"Mtume" (7 October 1974 - Columbia Studio E)
"Maiysha" (7 October 1974 - Columbia Studio E)

Performers by recording session[edit]

March 9, 1972 Miles Davis (tpt); Wally Chambers (hca); Cornel Dupree (g); Michael Henderson (el-b); Al Foster (d); Bernard Purdie (d); James Mtume Forman (cga, perc); Wade Marcus (brass arr); Billy Jackson (rhythm arr)

June 1, 1972 Miles Davis (tpt); Dave Liebman (ss); Chick Corea (synth); Herbie Hancock (org); Harold I. Williams (el-p); John McLaughlin (g); Collin Walcott (sitar); Paul Buckmaster (cello); Michael Henderson (el-b); Jack DeJohnette (d); Jabali Billy Hart (d, perc, bgo); Charles Don Alias (cga, perc); James Mtume Forman (cga, perc); Badal Roy (tabla)

June 6, 1972 Miles Davis (tpt); Carlos Garnett (as, ts); Bennie Maupin (bcl); Herbie Hancock (el-p, synth); Harold I. Williams (el-p, synth); Lonnie Liston Smith (org); David Creamer (g); Collin Walcott (sitar); Paul Buckmaster (cello); Michael Henderson (el-b); Jack DeJohnette (d, handclaps); Jabali Billy Hart (d, handclaps); Charles Don Alias (perc, handclaps); James Mtume Forman (perc, handclaps); Badal Roy (tabla, handclaps)

June 12, 1972 Miles Davis (tpt); Carlos Garnett (ss); Bennie Maupin (bcl); Lonnie Liston Smith (org); Harold I. Williams (el-p, synth); Michael Henderson (el-b); Al Foster (d); Jabali Billy Hart (d, perc); James Mtume Forman (cga, perc); Badal Roy (tabla)

August 23, 1972 Miles Davis (tpt); Cedric Lawson (org); Reggie Lucas (g); Khalil Balakrishna (sitar); Michael Henderson (el-b); Al Foster (d); Badal Roy (tabla); James Mtume Forman (cga)

September 6, 1972 Miles Davis (org); Reggie Lucas (g); Khalil Balakrishna (sitar); Cedric Lawson (synth); Michael Henderson (el-b); Al Foster (d); James Mtume Forman (cga, perc); Badal Roy (tabla)

November 29, 1972 Miles Davis (tpt); Carlos Garnett (ss); Cedric Lawson (keyb); Reggie Lucas (g); Khalil Balakrishna (sitar); Michael Henderson (el-b); Al Foster (d); James Mtume Forman (cga, perc); Badal Roy (tabla)

December 8, 1972 Miles Davis (org); Carlos Garnett (ss); Cedric Lawson (keyb); Reggie Lucas (g); Khalil Balakrishna (sitar); Michael Henderson (el-b); Al Foster (d); James Mtume Forman (cga, perc); Badal Roy (tabla)

January 4, 1973 Miles Davis (tpt); Dave Liebman (ss); Cedric Lawson (keyb); Reggie Lucas (g); Khalil Balakrishna (sitar); Michael Henderson (el-b); Al Foster (d); James Mtume Forman (cga, perc); Badal Roy (tabla)

July 26, 1973 Miles Davis (tpt, org); Dave Liebman (ss, fl); Pete Cosey (g); Reggie Lucas (g); Michael Henderson (el-b); Al Foster (d); James Mtume Forman (cga, perc)

September 17, 1973 Miles Davis (tpt, org); Dave Liebman (ts, fl); John Stubblefield (ss); Pete Cosey (g); Reggie Lucas (g); Michael Henderson (el-b); Al Foster (d); James Mtume Forman (cga, perc)

September 18, 1973 Miles Davis (tpt, org); Dave Liebman (ts); Pete Cosey (g); Reggie Lucas (g); Michael Henderson (el-b); Al Foster (d); James Mtume Forman (cga)

June 19, 1974 Miles Davis (tpt, org); Dave Liebman (fl); Pete Cosey (g); Reggie Lucas (g); Dominique Gaumont (g); Michael Henderson (el-b); Al Foster (d); James Mtume Forman (cga, perc)

October 7, 1974 Miles Davis (tpt, org); Sonny Fortune (ss, fl); Pete Cosey (g); Reggie Lucas (g); Dominique Gaumont (g); Michael Henderson (el-b); Al Foster (d); James Mtume Forman (cga, perc)

November 6, 1974 Miles Davis (tpt, org); Sonny Fortune (ss, ts, fl); Pete Cosey (g, d, perc); Reggie Lucas (g); Dominique Gaumont (g); Michael Henderson (el-b); Al Foster (d); James Mtume Forman (cga, perc)

May 5, 1975 Miles Davis (tpt, org); Sam Morrison (ts); Pete Cosey (g, perc); Reggie Lucas (g); Michael Henderson (el-b); Al Foster (d); James Mtume Forman (cga, perc)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jurek, Thom (2011). "The Complete On the Corner Sessions - | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  2. ^ Jones, Chris (2011). "BBC - Music - Review of Miles Davis - Complete On The Corner Sessions". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  3. ^ Metzger, John (2011). "Miles Davis - The Complete On the Corner Sessions (Album / Boxed Set Review)". musicbox-online.com. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  4. ^ Leone, Dominique (2011). "Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Miles Davis: The Complete On the Corner Sessions". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  5. ^ a b Hart, Ron. "Miles Davis The Complete On the Corner Sessions". PopMatters. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  6. ^ Rolling Stone review
  7. ^ http://www.miles-beyond.com/otcbox.htm

External links[edit]