A Tribute to Jack Johnson

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
None of Miles Davis' recordings has been more shrouded in mystery than Jack Johnson, yet none has better fulfilled Miles Davis' promise that he could form the "greatest rock band you ever heard." Containing only two tracks, the album was assembled out of no less than four recording sessions between February 18, 1970, and June 4, 1970, and was patched together by producer Teo Macero. Most of the outtake material ended up on Directions, Big Fun, and elsewhere. The first misconception is the lineup: the credits on the recording are incomplete. For the opener, "Right Off," the band is Miles, John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, Herbie Hancock, Michael Henderson, and Steve Grossman no ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
None of Miles Davis' recordings has been more shrouded in mystery than Jack Johnson, yet none has better fulfilled Miles Davis' promise that he could form the "greatest rock band you ever heard." Containing only two tracks, the album was assembled out of no less than four recording sessions between February 18, 1970, and June 4, 1970, and was patched together by producer Teo Macero. Most of the outtake material ended up on Directions, Big Fun, and elsewhere. The first misconception is the lineup: the credits on the recording are incomplete. For the opener, "Right Off," the band is Miles, John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, Herbie Hancock, Michael Henderson, and Steve Grossman no piano player!, which reflects the liner notes. This was from the musicians' point of view, in a single take, recorded as McLaughlin began riffing in the studio while waiting for Miles; it was picked up on by Henderson and Cobham, Hancock was ushered in to jump on a Hammond organ he was passing through the building, and Miles rushed in at 2:19 and proceeded to play one of the longest, funkiest, knottiest, and most complex solos of his career. Seldom has he cut loose like that and played in the high register with such a full sound. In the meantime, the interplay between Cobham, McLaughlin, and Henderson is out of the box, McLaughlin playing long, angular chords centering around E. This was funky, dirty rock & roll jazz. There is this groove that gets nastier and nastier as the track carries on, and never quits, though there are insertions by Macero of two Miles takes on Sly Stone tunes and an ambient textured section before the band comes back with the groove, fires it up again, and carries it out. On "Yesternow," the case is far more complex. There are two lineups, the one mentioned above, and one that begins at about 12:55. The second lineup was Miles, McLaughlin, Jack DeJohnette, Chick Corea, Bennie Maupin, Dave Holland, and Sonny Sharrock. The first 12 minutes of the tune revolve around a single bass riff lifted from James Brown's "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud." The material that eases the first half of the tune into the second is taken from "Shhh/Peaceful," from In a Silent Way, overdubbed with the same trumpet solo that is in the ambient section of "Right Off." It gets more complex as the original lineup is dubbed back in with a section from Miles' tune "Willie Nelson," another part of the ambient section of "Right Off," and an orchestral bit of "The Man Nobody Saw" at 23:52, before the voice of Jack Johnson by actor Brock Peters takes the piece out. The highly textured, nearly pastoral ambience at the end of the album is a fitting coda to the chilling, overall high-energy rockist stance of the album. Jack Johnson is the purest electric jazz record ever made because of the feeling of spontaneity and freedom it evokes in the listener, for the stellar and inspiring solos by McLaughlin and Davis that blur all edges between the two musics, and for the tireless perfection of the studio assemblage by Miles and producer Macero. [The album was completely remastered and reissued in January of 2005, following the 2003 release of the Complete Jack Johnson Sessions box set by Legacy.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/24/2005
  • Label: Columbia Europe
  • EAN: 5099751926429
  • Catalog Number: 5192642
  • Sales rank: 12,008

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Right Off (26:53)
  2. 2 Yesternow (25:34)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Miles Davis Primary Artist, Trumpet
Herbie Hancock Organ, Keyboards
John McLaughlin Guitar, Electric Guitar
Sonny Sharrock Guitar
Steve Grossman Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
Brock Peters Spoken Word
Billy Cobham Drums
Michael Henderson Guitar, Bass Guitar
Michael J. Henderson Electric Bass
Technical Credits
Bob Belden Reissue Producer
Miles Davis Liner Notes
John McLaughlin Liner Notes
Michael Cuscuna Reissue Producer
Teo Macero Composer, Producer, Engineer, Audio Production
Bill Milkowski Liner Notes
Chip Deffaa Liner Notes
Randall Martin Reissue Design
Dianne Spoto Shattuck Packaging Manager
Paul Davis Illustrations
Stanley Tonkel Engineer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Why this classic CD has been out of print for a while baffles me

    Why this classic CD has been out of print for a while baffles me. This is the realization of what Miles Davis tried to do during the 70s. More than an other of his albums I own, THIS is true jazz-rock fusion. Miles and John McLaughlin are both on fire. Some of the music is ferocious and then there are quieter, spacey passages. Davis identified with Jack Johnson and his outsider status and was inspired to create a true classic. If you only plan to own one Davis fusion CD, this is the one.

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