Take it back to the early 1970s. Miles Davis has assembled a band of top-notch musicians to record a funky, in-the-pocket groove while he improvised over the top of it. These sessions would turn into On The Corner after some heavy editing from Miles and Teo Macero, and would be hated by the jazz critics of the time. Decades later, though, those grooves are re-considered with fresh ears and it turns out that they’re super, super dope. Anybody who has ever laid a distorted Rhodes on top of a hard drumbreak owes a debt to this album.
One set of modern ears that was intrigued by On The Corner is attached to artist Stan Douglas. He has worked with Jason Moran, who assembled a band including Burniss Earl Travis on bass, Kimberly Thompson on drums, Liberty Ellman and Marvin Sewell on guitars, among others, and then recreated the studio where Miles recorded Kind of Blue, among other landmark albums, to produce his ‘Luanda-Kinshasa’ exhibition. The band jammed on some skeletal forms, On The Corner-style, for hours. The video documenting this work is now showing at the David Zwirner gallery in New York City through February 22 (537 West 20th Street). If you’re in New York, why not stop by to check out part of the six-hour (!) video. For those of us not in New York City, a too-short video clip is available on youtube:
Luanda-Kinshasa from Stan Douglas:
Are you kidding me? Someone please tell me that this will be released in some form, whether video or audio or whatever.
In the meantime, check for me bugging out to On The Corner:
Miles Davis – On The Corner: