On the Corner is a studio album by jazz musician Miles Davis, recorded in June and July 1972 and released later that year on Columbia Records. It was scorned by established jazz critics at the time of its release and was one of Davis's worst-selling recordings. Its critical standing has improved dramatically with the passage of time, as it is now seen as a strong forerunner of the musical techniques of post-punk, hip hop, drum and bass, and electronic music.
Joining previous multi-disc Davis reissues of In a Silent Way, A Tribute to Jack Johnson, and Bitches Brew, On the Corner was reissued on the 6-disc boxed set The Complete On the Corner Sessions, released in September 2007.
Davis claimed that On the Corner was an attempt at reconnecting with the young black audience which had largely forsaken jazz for rock and funk. While there is a discernible rock and funk influence in the timbres of the instruments employed, from a musical standpoint the album was a culmination of sorts of the musique concrète approach that Davis and producer Teo Macero (who had studied with Otto Luening at Columbia University's Computer Music Center) had begun to explore in the late 1960s. Both sides of the record were based around drum and bass grooves, with the melodic parts snipped from hours of jams. Also cited as musical influences on the album by Davis were the contemporary composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, who later recorded with the trumpeter in 1980, and Paul Buckmaster (who played electric cello on the album and contributed some arrangements).
Buckmaster and Davis also recorded the song "Ife" in a session during the same period. The song failed to make On The Corner but instead appeared on Big Fun in 1974; it is possible that it wasn't included on the previous because of time constraints.
Both On the Corner and Davis' 1975 album Agharta were major influences for the Beastie Boys on their 1994 album Ill Communication.
All songs written by Miles Davis.
"On the Corner; New York Girl; Thinkin' One Thing and Doin' Another; Vote for Miles" - 20:02,
"Black Satin" - 5:20,
"One and One" - 6:09,
"Helen Butte; Mr. Freedom X" - 23:18,
Recorded on June 1 (A1), June 6 (B1-B2) and July 7 (A2), 1972.
Miles Davis - electric trumpet with wah-wah,
Dave Liebman - soprano saxophone (A1),
Carlos Garnett - soprano and tenor saxophone (B1, B2),
Chick Corea - electric piano,
Herbie Hancock - electric piano, synthesizer,
Harold I. Williams - organ, synthesizer,
David Creamer (A2, B1, B2), John McLaughlin (A1) - electric guitar,
Michael Henderson - electric bass with wah wah,
Collin Walcott (A1, B1, B2), Khalil Balakrishna (A2) - electric sitar,
Bennie Maupin - bass clarinet (B1),
Badal Roy - tabla,
Jack DeJohnette, Billy Cobham - drums,
Jabali Billy Hart - drums, bongos,
James "Mtume" Foreman, Don Alias - percussion,
Paul Buckmaster - cello, arrangements,
Robert Honablue - engineer
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license