Miles Davis' boundlessly influential On the Corner was so far ahead of its time upon release in 1972, the jazz cognoscenti rejected its groundbreaking concoction as middling in nature. Yet time has a way of righting wrongs and shifting views by adding needed context and perspective to visionary ideas, music, and approaches – the likes of which fill Davis' boldest and most controversial – undertaking.
Designed to bring the focus back on the groove and bottom-end frequencies, the funk-loaded On the Corner revolutionized jazz. It also set new standards for record production, presaging remixing and electronica by more than a decade. And the work has never sounded more thrilling.
On the Corner exposes the internal mechanisms, free-associated playing, and then-unmatched studio techniques in vivid audiophile-grade sonics. The low end, crucial to every composition here, is both heard and felt, with locked-in bass lines and low-range percussion conveyed as taut, solid, and visceral passages. You can even discern the multiple levels of rhythm Davis employed on complex tracks such as "Black Satin," as On the Corner stands as his first effort to use overdubbing and multiple tape machines.
New degrees of spaciousness and airiness — equally important to the musique concrete arrangements — give the impression Davis and Co.'s creations float in space. Instruments are portrayed in three-dimensional manners, rhythmic loops retain tonal purity, and horn solos skitter across an extra-wide soundstage that takes listeners into Columbia's Studio E.
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