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Miles Davis - A Tribute To Jack Johnson CD (album) cover


Miles Davis


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.20 | 197 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A Tribute to Rock & Roll

You may have wondered when listening to 'In a Silent Way' and 'Bitches Brew', where's exactly the rock part of these jazz improvisations? Well, the rock aspects on those albums are indeed subtle, more so in 'In a Silent Way', however this is where 'A Tribute to Jack Johnson' comes to the scene, Miles finally pulled off an album that 'rock' fans could identify themselves with.

Please, if you have purchased this, don't play it on your computer, just put it on your CD player, set the volume to 11 and prepare yourself to be blown-away literally. Immediately with McLaughlin's bluesy and powerful chords, Cobham's steady beat and Henderson's splendid bass line, you'll know that Miles Davis has finally added real 'rock' to his music. It's only a matter of time until Miles appears with his energetic trumpet and makes this 27 minute "rock jazz" (not jazz rock) jam what it is. If you're not a fan of long rock jams, I doubt you can get through this, but if you're able to keep yourself awake through 27 minutes of pure energy, this is one heck of a treat! All players are shifting lines and rhythms and making this one of the most enjoyable simple rock tunes ever! However, Herbie Hancock doesn't appear till minute 15, and Jesus Christ! The way he appears out of nowhere is totally awesome and ROCKIN'! He's playing an ol' Organ and it sounds amazing. Definitely any real 'rock' fan must listen to this.

The second and final track entitled 'Yesternow' is quite a different treat, though. It sends you back to the 'In a Silent Way' time, both stylistically and literally, since Miles decided to cut a part of 'Shhh/Peaceful' and paste it in the middle of 'Yesternow', yeah odd, but it suits well. The first half of this tune is quite gentle and hypnotic, a solid bass line going on and some wah-wah guitar and trumpet appearances. However, after the re-appearance of 'Shhh/Peaceful', the tune gets groovier with a change of bass line, but still the song is rather calm in 'rock' terms. Definitely this doesn't stand up to the standards of the opener, though it's decent by its own means, but it could have been much better.

Not a masterpiece, that's clear because one half of the album isn't really great and the first half is actually a jam, but what a jam it is! It's such a jam that it makes the album worth of buying alone. Of course, if you're one of those who has been "fooled" when they told you that 'Bitches Brew' and 'In a Silent Way' were jazz rock albums, this album will cure your sorrow.

4 stars, not less nor more. An excellent "rock jazz" addition to any prog rock or jazz rock music collection. An essential album if you're a fan of long rock jams, this album is one of the many unique releases by Miles Davis.

The Quiet One | 4/5 |


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