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A Tribute to Jack Johnson

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Editors’ Notes

If Bitches Brew is the revolutionary jazz fusion album and On the Corner is dirty street-funk masterpiece, then 1971’s A Tribute to Jack Johnson is Miles Davis’ exemplary answer to rock. The two tracks here (assembled from two sessions in 1970) were the soundtrack for a film about controversial African-American boxer Jack Johnson, whose taste for the high life resonated with Davis. For rock you need electric guitar, and both John McLaughlin (whose slashing rhythm playing on “Right Off” and general riffage are some his finest moments set to tape) and Sonny Sharrock can be heard here. Session visitor Herbie Hancock (who had business elsewhere in the studio) and Chick Corea are also on hand, as are funk bassist Michael Henderson and drummers Billy Cobham and Jack DeJohnette, among others. This is more stripped-down than the densely layered Bitches Brew, with the spooky opening to “Yesternow” offering some of Davis’ most direct playing ever. Those who can’t get enough of this endless boogie can also check out The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions, which features 42 tracks.

Customer Reviews

amazing

2 songs not enough for ya? This album forced me to become a music teacher, how's that for an endoresment

A Tribute to Jack Johnson

One of the top 5 Jazz/rock recordings of all time.

Great!!!

still havent stopped listening after months and months of straight play! MILES MILES MILES MILES MILES

Biography

Born: May 26, 1926 in Alton, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Throughout a professional career lasting 50 years, Miles Davis played the trumpet in a lyrical, introspective, and melodic style, often employing a stemless Harmon mute to make his sound more personal and intimate. But if his approach to his instrument was constant, his approach to jazz was dazzlingly protean. To examine his career is to examine the history of jazz from the mid-'40s to the early '90s, since he was in the thick of almost every important innovation and stylistic development in the...
Full Bio