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Miles Davis by Henry Denander

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MILES DAVIS - The Complete On The Corner Sessions

The Complete On The Corner Sessions cover Below the track list as given on Sony Legacy's pre-release copies of The Complete On The Corner Sessions. The expected US release date is put back a week to October 2, 2007

This list is the same as the provisional one that was published here a few months ago, but the CD order has been swapped, some of the previously unreleased tracks have undergone edits, coming in at different lengths, and they have been given titles by Vince Wilburn, Miles' nephew, and Erin Davis, Miles' youngest son.

Like with many of the Miles boxed sets, the overall title is rather misleading, in this case particularly so. It was already a stretch, for instance, to compile all sessions Miles did between August 1969 and February 1970 on the 4-CD The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions, when the actual BB sessions took place over just three days in August 1969. But the forthcoming boxed set covers three years of sessions, from March 1972 to May 1975, and contains music with entirely different vibes, concepts, approaches, personnel, and so on. It's a bit like calling everything The Beatles recorded from Sgt Pepper' onwards The Complete Sgt Pepper's Sessions.

In addition, the liner notes for the boxed set are very sketchy and incomplete. For instance, there's hardly any track by track discussion, as was found on previous boxed sets. Instead there's the briefest of introductions by Bob Belden, an essay by Tom Terrell that's high on impressionistic word play but low on factual information on the music, and an entertaining and informatve essay by Paul Buckmaster, that captures the spirit of the early June 1972 sessions well, but obviously says nothing about the sessions that came afterwards, as he wasn't involved. There are also a few errors in the liner notes and discography. If you want in-depth explanations of what went on during these three years, including extensive recollections by the musicians involved, you'll need to read Chapters 9 and 10 of Miles Beyond. If you don't have it, you can order it here... I've put it on special offer for this occasion.

The above aside, the forthcoming boxed set contains a lot of previously unreleased material, much of which is worth hearing. One oddity is the November 6, 1974 date, when Pete Cosey replaced Al Foster on drums on "Hip-Skip." Later that day he switched to guitar for "What They Do," on which he and guitarist Dominique Gaumont let rip. "Minnie" is based on the Minnie Ripperton song "Loving You," and is almost commercial disco, the most traditional track of the whole collection. Some critics will probably argue that it points towards the more melodic and arranged music of the 1980s.

More notes on and descriptions of these recordings will follow soon. I also plan to have a 'live' MP3 player on this site, and will post a few excerpts from this music.

CD 1

1. On The Corner (unedited master) 19:25 recorded June 1, 1972
2. On The Corner (tk 4) 5:15 recorded June 1, 1972
3. One And One (unedited master) 17:55 recorded June 6, 1972
4. Helen Butte/Mr. Freedom X (unedited master) 23:37 recorded June 6, 1972
5. Jabali 11:04 recorded June 12, 1972

disc 1 remixed by Richard King and Bob Belden in 2007

CD 2

1. Ife 21:33 recorded June 12, 1972
2. Chieftain 14:37 recorded August 23, 1972—remixed by King and Belden in 2007
3. Rated X 6:50 recorded September 6, 1972
4. Turnaround 17:16 recorded November 29, 1972—remixed by King and Belden in 2007
5. U-turnaround 08:27 recorded November 1972—remixed by King and Belden in 2007

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.

CD 3

1. Billy Preston 12:33 from December 8, 1972
2. The Hen 12:55 recorded January 4-5, 1973—remixed by King and Belden in 2007
3. Big Fun/Holly-wuud (tk 2) 6:32 recorded July 26, 1973—remixed by King and Belden in 2007
4. Big Fun/Holly-wuud (tk 3) 7:07 recorded July 26, 1973—remixed by King and Belden in 2007
5. Peace 7:01 recorded July 26, 1973—remixed by King and Belden in 2007
6. Mr Foster 15:14 recorded September 17, 1973—remixed by King and Belden in 2007

track 1 from stereo LP master of GET UP WITH IT

CD 4

1. Calypso Frelimo 32:04 recorded September 17, 1973
2. He Loved Him Madly 32:13 recorded September 18, 1973

Both tracks from stereo LP master of GET UP WITH IT


1. Maiysha 14:51 recorded October 7, 1974
2. Mtume 15:08 recorded October 7, 1974
3. Mtume (take 11) 06:51 recorded October 7, 1974—remixed by King and Belden in 2007
4. Hip-Skip 18:59 recorded November 6, 1974—remixed by King and Belden in 2007
5. What They Do 11:44 recorded November 6, 1974—remixed by King and Belden in 2007
6. Minnie 3:53 recorded May 5, 1975—remixed by King and Belden in 2007

tracks 1 & 2 from stereo LP master of GET UP WITH IT

CD 6

1. Red China Blues 4:06 recorded 3/9/72
2. On The Corner/New York Girl/Thinkin' Of One Thing And Doin' Another/Vote For Miles 19:54 recorded June 1, 1972
3. Black Satin 5:15 recorded June 6 and July 7 1972
4. One And One 6:09 recorded June 6, 1972
5. Helen Butte/Mr. Freedom X (master) 23:14 recorded June 6, 1972
6. Big Fun 2:32 recorded July 26, 1972
7. Holly-wuud 2:54 recorded July 26, 1972

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 track 4 on CD 3.

Note 1: all tracks remixed by Richard King and Bob Belden are previously unreleased.

Note 2: the boxed set track list gives June 1, 1972 for the recording of "Black Satin," but this is a mistake. The backing tracks were recorded on June 6, titled Helen Butte/Mr Freedom X, and overdubs which actually turned it into "Black Satin," were added on July 7 of that year.

Note 3: on the two Turnaround tracks. These titles will prove to be incredibly 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," and Enrico Merlin and I simply refer to it as "Agharta Prelude." Why the makers of the OTC boxed set didn't stick to convention as established by Sony itself is a mystery. (With regards to "Turnaroundphrase," since we had no record of Miles calling the tune "Turnaroundphrase," Enrico and I called it Moja, according to our principle to call untitled tunes after the medley in which it appears, ie, it's the first piece to appear on the first track/side of Dark Magus, which was called "Moja.")

DISCOGRAPHY - recording details and personnel listings will be posted soon.

PS. The track sheets from the original On The Corner session are here...


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