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Reviews: Miles Davis: A Tribute to Jack Johnson

Reviews: 4

Review by JW June 16, 2003 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This 1970 soundtrack - did anyone ever see this movie I wonder? - is dedicated to Jack Johnson who was a prize fighter at the beginning of the 20th century. It features John McLaughlin on guitar, Michael Henderson on Fender bass, Bill Cobham on drums, Herbie Hancock on keyboards and Hammond organ and Steve Grossman on sax. Well, at least on the first track. The second track features a slightly different line-up with Chick Corea , Jack DeJohnette (dr), Bennie Maupin (dr), Sonny Sherrock (g) and Dave Holland (b).

This is electric jazz at its best! Or jazz-rock-funk-fusion. Together with "In A Silent Way" this album could form a bridge to Miles' more experimental work. Earlier he recorded "Bitches Brew" for example, which in my opinion is less accessible than Jack Johnson. McLaughlin's guitar work is out-of-this-world and so is the work of the rythmn sections. Henderson is laying some awesome bass foundations! Once these guys get going - and boy do they ever - they won't let go and keep you spellbound, unable to pause until you sat through the full 26+ minutes of the first track. After that I suggest you press 'pause' and recompose yourself for the second track. Think about what you've just heard. The complicated rythmns, the fantastic solo's by Miles, the urgent and frantic Hammond Organ fills by HH and that intense and gritty guitar work by JL. The sound quality of the JSACD is beyond reproach with a natural tone, lots of air and detail.

OK. The second track opener. Deep and mysterious, the trumpet solo floats in thin air only supported by a sparse bass rythmn and some guitar chords. At around 2:30 the drums kick in ever so gently, continuing to lay the foundation for Miles' his slow and pointy solo. There is a contrapoint at around 12 minutes which changes the tune and inserts a short version of the first track of the "In A Silent Way" album ('Shhh/Peaceful', this idea was an editing job by Macero btw). After that they get funky for the last 6 minutes of the tune, closing at 24 minutes with a tuneful and somber brass section that sometimes reminds me of the mysterious backdrops Morricone wrote for his Westerns.

A Masterpiece.


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Review by Sckott July 20, 2004
Performance:   Sonics:
"A masterpiece" can be the only way to describe this title, and "Mind Blowing" might describe the sonics of this JSACD. This disc really shows off what DSD can do with a master tape. Bravo!

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Review by DeSelby May 22, 2005 (2 of 7 found this review helpful)
very good sound

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Review by Jijagua May 26, 2011 (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This album is a great jazz-fusion album. It's as psychedelic as anything you'd find from the late 60's to the early 70's. The whole sensation is one to recline back and take in, just let the music wash over you. Besides the standard trumpet and drums, we hear a lot of electric guitar. The sounds stretch all the way from left to right on my stereo. An enormous sounstage is presented. Magnificent performance all the way around. This performance starts on the psychedelic and stays there, shifting tones every so often.

The sound is pretty much the same as the CD release, except the CD release doesn't give as much high frequency detail as the SACD does. However, the two releases are similar enough to where I would not recommend buying the SACD if you already have the standard Legacy CD. The SACD does provide more highs, but that gets you more tape hiss. The ordinary CD ratcheted the hiss down a notch, and not at the expense (much) of the music. I give the SACD a small nod over the ordinary CD, but not by much.

So, buying the SACD will not give you very much in the way better sound.

I give this recording and the original CD the same grade of 4 stars.

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