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Tribute to Jack Johnson [Original recording remastered]

Miles DavisAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 11, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00074CBFG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,992 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Right Off - Miles Davis
2. Yesternow - Miles Davis

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2005 reissue of 1992 tribute album featuring two tracks - over fifty minutes of music performed by one of the greatest jazz artists of all time.

Miles Davis was a gifted composer of film soundtracks, and this is arguably his best. Certainly it's his most listenable film piece. A boxer himself, Davis had a feel for movement in the ring, and this recording overflows with the admiration he had for the grace, style, and confidence of fighters like Sugar Ray Robinson. Jack Johnson was, for a long time, Miles's favorite of his own recordings, and you can see why from the first note: guitarist John McLaughlin steps out and strides across a shuffling groove that is closer to barroom R&B than it is to rock; Davis weighs in with that clipped but plaintive sound which promises you that no matter what kind of music he takes on next, he will always be Miles. And then when--midway through the first of two long jams--Herbie Hancock muscles his way into the mix on organ, of all things, you realize that they could go on like this forever. A joyful, liberating record. --John Szwed

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great disc by one of the all-time greatest artists! January 29, 2005
By J. Lund
Format:Audio CD
For those who aren't aware, this JACK JOHNSON soundtrack was compiled from 1970 studio sessions by Miles Davis for a rarely-seen documentary of the legendary boxer. The 2005 Ken Burns-directed UNFORGIVABLE BLACKNESS documentary with music by Wynton Marsalis is an entirely different audio/video project. Although Davis' music i.m.o. certainly evokes the spirit of Johnson, it also stands on its own musical merits as arguably one of the most outstanding Miles albums of his entire career (which is saying something because Miles' career is loaded with classic, timeless performances).

As I wrote of the boxed set of the JACK JOHNSON sessions, if ever progressive strains of jazz, rock, blues, and funk found common ground -- without selling any of the above short -- I'd argue it was in the early-1970 sessions from which this album was pasted together. JACK JOHNSON rocks steady, gets on the good foot, and does so with jazz intuition and blues feeling. Miles' playing is awesome, and I would consider his opening solo on "Right Off" to be as brilliant as any I've heard by him at ANY point in his career, finding a perfect, unpredictable balance between basic and abstract improvisational phrases. The rhythm section -- including John McLaughlin on guitar, Michael Henderson on electric bass, and Billy Cobham on drums -- throws down a steady beat that reacts to and pushes Miles onward and upward. Reedman Steve Grossman, keyboardist Herbie Hancock, more from Miles, and finally McLaughlin manage to keep this lengthy cut interesting, while some spliced-in segments from related sessions by producer Teo Macero keep the listener off-balance to good effect.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Man, it's funky! March 11, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I was totally blown away when I first heard this. This is Miles at his funkiest, loudest and bluesiest. It sounds like so much fun!

Every musician on this album is in top form and the aggressive, raucous soloing is indescribable. It's a great privilege to hear these guys settle into a groove.

The cutting and pasting technique involved in making the original long jams more palatable can be a bit annoying at times but I wasn't going to buy the 'Complete Jack Johnson Sessions' when I hadn't heard one note of this album before. That's the only complaint I have with this great piece of work.

Overall, it was incredibly enjoyable!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great! July 6, 2008
By Jazz B.
Format:Audio CD
Miles here recorded for several months in the studio, tape forever rolling, "jam session style." Afterwards, (since there were too many cuts to be included on an LP), they selected these 2 songs for the record. Mile's producer, Ted Marceo (who had been with him since around 1958), inserted a tape on trk 1 from a previous session containing a scary muted trumpet sound. He also toned the drums down on some parts for a "drumless" effect (which would otherwise be forever playing). Herbie Hancock wasn't scheduled to be on the session. He just walked in back from the supermarket still holding his grocery bags to drop off a copy of his latest LP (today it is a CD) for Miles. He never intended to stay. But Miles had other plans. He saw how adding keys to the session could make it better. So... he just pointed to a small Farfisa organ in the corner & said "play!" Herbie had never seen the thing before and anyways, he HAD TO GO. They argued for a while but Miles was firm. At last, Herbie went over to the thing and tried to figure out how to turn it on. After that, he played his solo, gave Miles the record and left. Enjoy this CD and let's hope after all that arguing, Herbie has some energy in his solo!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The life of Jack August 16, 2008
Format:Audio CD
This album and the songs contained, cover the rise and fall of Jack Johnson America's MOST infamous and 1st Black Heavyweight Champion. The up tempo beginning of "Right Off" is Johnson striving to fullfill the ambition of his youth and overcome the staggering imbalance forced upon him by America's racist foundations. The tempo changes during the piece to express the "flat spots" and the "downs" that even a powerful man such as Jack Johnson experienced while being the most SUCCESSFUL Black man of his era. "Right Off" ends like it begins with a bang. "Yesternow" seems to be the manifesto of a man begging for acceptance from the world in general and America in particular. It tells the world who this man is and that his being is not up for debate, it is a "take it or leave it" pronouncement! "Accept me as I am or not at all", I will survive and thrive in either case!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MILES DAVIS AT HIS ROCKING HOUR April 17, 2008
Format:Audio CD
I have to say that this CD is a masterpiece. The first song "Right Off" is really great, Miles does rock n' roll and jazz (like Miles jazz trumpet and Joe Satriani hard rock) and that is really one of Miles' best recordings ever, and one of my favorite Miles nearing 27 minutes of driving rock and jazz. Yesternow is more like other Miles a lot slower and calmer, but in the middle has a background of the first song of "In a Silent Way", in the end there is a voice for Jack Johnson. This is great Miles from the seventies and it is one of his greatest recordings. Every Miles Davis CD or Record collection should have this.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Shy
A Tribute to Jack Johnson (1971) moves and grooves, and! This album is a very big departure from the earlier Miles albums of the 50s and 60s. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Todd7
5.0 out of 5 stars Jazz could never be the same again
This was recorded around the time when Miles Davis was at an ultra-incredible period, stretching all boundaries and never looking back, with a thirst for unseen horizons. Read more
Published on August 18, 2011 by Paulo Alm
5.0 out of 5 stars the ultimate tribute
A Tribute to Jack Johnson is quite possibly the very best Miles Davis album. It's flawless really. "Right Off" lives up to its name- it's the right way to kick things off! Read more
Published on June 23, 2011 by B. E Jackson
4.0 out of 5 stars Minor masterwork
Another slow cooked fusion dazzler which doesn't quite reach the dizzying heights of his best mesh, but a one-and-especially-two punch knockout of extended interplay still sits... Read more
Published on October 19, 2009 by IRate
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my personal favorites
Miles Davis might have lost several fans begging for him to live his life doing nothing but albums like Kind of Blue, but Miles Davis did what came from his heart, and this time,... Read more
Published on August 11, 2009 by RockinRobin411
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tribute to Jack Johnson brings you there.
Miles has always been an artistic master of sound and space. A Tribute to Jack Johnson sums up new directions Miles had been migrating towards. Read more
Published on July 19, 2009 by Wagnum
4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining release of the early fusion era, with a new clarity
If with the previous album Bitches Brew Miles Davis established gritty fusion as his new sound, 1970's JACK JOHNSON marked a refinement of this style. Read more
Published on January 15, 2009 by Christopher Culver
5.0 out of 5 stars FUN WITH FUSION
Published on January 8, 2009 by COMPUTERJAZZMAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Miles Rocks it!
Miles' rockinest' LP. Like a good '70's Allmans jam with trumpet. Highly recommended. play it loud!
Published on November 10, 2008 by D-Bone
5.0 out of 5 stars The epitomy of Miles' electric era
Although unfamiliar with Miles Davis outside his fusion period of the early 1970s, I have come to realise clearly that the influence and power of his fusion records from In a... Read more
Published on September 2, 2008 by mianfei
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