Miles Davis - Beyond The Corner

It was music like you had never heard before. A dense, churning rhythm that was like an ice-breaker tearing through a glacial sheet. It was a bubbling, molten mix of wah-wah trumpet, droning sitar, multi-layered keyboards, screaming guitar, scurrying soprano sax, dark bass clarinet and the incessant beat of tabla drums. Was it rock? Was it jazz? Was it funk? Was it music from another time and place? It was all these and more: it was the new sound of Miles Davis. Miles Davis - Beyond The Corner
Miles Davis
had always been controversial but not even he could have imagined the effect his 1972 album On The Corner would have on fans, critics, musicians – and on the sounds of the future. George Cole assesses the impact of the album as a new all encompassing six-CD boxed set is released and talks to some of the musicians involved including, in a rare interview, Paul Buckmaster.

“On The Corner offended and angered more people than any other album in Miles Davis’s lengthy discography,” wrote Bill Milkowski in the liner notes for the first CD release. But time has showed that On The Corner was the precursor for many of today’s musical genres, including trance, techno, hip-hop, world music and drum-and-bass. Now, thirty-five years on, On The Corner is finally getting the recognition it deserves, in the form of six-CD boxed set, The Complete On The Corner Sessions. In addition to the original album tracks, there are several unedited masters from the On The Corner sessions plus tracks from two associated sessions (‘Ife’ and ‘Jabali.’) as well as music recorded at other times But where did On The Corner come from and why was the reaction to it so intense? Miles Davis was never one to play safe: staying still was never an option. In 1967, Miles began incorporating electric instruments into his music and in 1969, he recorded the jazz-rock classic Bitches Brew, which exposed his music to a much wider audience. Now, Miles and his band were playing at rock venues like the Fillmore. Miles’ record company, Columbia, was happy and, for a while, so was Miles. But soon, he was itching for a change in musical direction.

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