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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tribute to Jack Johnson...
For those who can't afford the epic 'Complete' box-set of these sessions and are underwhelmed by the poor-sounding 1992-reissue of it, will be pleased that this brilliant soundtrack is available in something like a definitive sounding version.
Miles released many albums in his career, as such 'Jack Johnson' gets overlooked - which is a shame, as it's a definite fave...
Published on 1 Jun 2005 by Jason Parkes

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13 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some dazzling displays of virtuosity, but overall lacks focus
There is no doubt that the threading guitar of John McLaughlin, followed by the rocking trumpet solo to kick-start Right Off, gets the average (Open-minded) Miles Davis fan excited. What's not to be excited about? Miles Rockin' it up! McLaughlin's guitar! Hancock on keys! Cobham on drums! etc, etc.

A Tribute to Jack Johnson was by far the furthest Miles Davis...
Published on 22 Oct 2006 by The Fish


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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tribute to Jack Johnson..., 1 Jun 2005
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Tribute To Jack Johnson (Audio CD)
For those who can't afford the epic 'Complete' box-set of these sessions and are underwhelmed by the poor-sounding 1992-reissue of it, will be pleased that this brilliant soundtrack is available in something like a definitive sounding version.
Miles released many albums in his career, as such 'Jack Johnson' gets overlooked - which is a shame, as it's a definite fave of mine, though a release that alienated jazz-purists with its emphasis on guitar. 'Jack Johnson' advances on the rock-fusion stylings of 'Bitches Brew' and moves toward the fantastic rock-funk of 'On the Corner.' Davis is assisted by such players as Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Bill Cobham, Michael Henderson & Steve Grossman. To me this sounds less like jazz, and has more in common with head-music of the time made by acts like Can, Faust, Mahavishnu Orchestra (who McLaughlin was a member of) & The White Noise.
Just two epic-tracks, 'Right Off' and 'Yesternow', but two hypnotic works that suitably blow the mind; this is probably more jazz for people who don't like jazz - fans or funk or rock would love this if unfamiliar. It's less-harsh than 'Bitches Brew' or 'On the Corner' (which appear to alienate some listeners initially, as they get their heads round it) and I'd say 'Jack Johnson' is an ideal primer in this period of Miles' music as 'The Birth of the Cool' or 'Kind of Blue' were for earlier phases....
Great to see reissued, and part of a sequence of Miles-releases I favour the most- 'Big Fun', 'Live Evil', 'Get Up With It', 'In a Silent Way', 'Bitches Brew', 'Dark Magus' & 'On the Corner.' The only quibble is the fact that his co-players really deserve a credit for their immense contribution. Incidentally, the sleevenotes where Miles nods to J.J. are fantastic...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its modern jazz played like hard rock., 28 April 2010
By 
Alister King "Big Al" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Tribute To Jack Johnson (Audio CD)
Originally conceived as the soundtrack for a documentary on the life of the first African American heavyweight boxing champion, the rhythm of Right Off is actually based around the great fighters movements in the ring. Try it at home; its f@cking great fun. The album shows the increasing influence of rock and funk on Mile's work. There's John McLaughlin's clanging, wah-wah-driven guitar and relentless backbeat of drummer Billy Cobham. Over this though floats the Davis's long, linear, modal melodies. The groove accrues momentum building to a climax for a guitar solo by free jazz pioneer Sonny Sharrock. Its modern jazz played like hard rock.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Miles Rock Album, 29 Dec 2005
This review is from: A Tribute To Jack Johnson (Audio CD)
The Penguin Guide To Jazz says that in 50 years time this album will be seen in the same or an even greater light than Bitches Brew. And I cannot disagree. Blistering playing from McLaughlin and Hancock and full on amplified Miles trumpet make the opening track (20 odd minutes from memory) a blast.
This is probably a rock album played by jazz musicians but even coming from the era when most of the great rock was produced this is right up there. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Burning, 1 Mar 2013
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This review is from: A Tribute To Jack Johnson (Audio CD)
Perhaps one of Miles's most accessible things, if that makes sense to jazzers, full on hot rock by Mclaughlin, with space to stretch out for everyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jazz-rock of the highest order..., 23 July 2013
By 
os - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: A Tribute To Jack Johnson (Audio CD)
'Jack Johnson' essentially consists of two extended funky jazz-rock vamps.Despite its vintage(1970)It is an album that still sounds very fresh and ahead of its time,primarily because of the quality of musicianship and the simplicity of conception.It follows in the same vein as 'In a Silent Way' and 'Bitches Brew' and other Miles albums of the late 60's recording the band live in the studio leaving producer Teo Macero to fashion a finished artifact out of the resulting jams. The focus is not so much on composition as spontaneous creativity.Miles here is using the rawness and dynamism of rock coupled with the rhythmic pulse of funk to create a unique sense of excitement,space and opportunity for individual expression.We get to hear for instance, how guitarist John Mclaughlin uses a very catchy yet acerbic rhythmic figure on 'Right Off' to propel the band into musical orbit, drawing some very fiery wah-wah trumpet from Miles as a result.Likewise on 'Yesternow' Michael Henderson offers up a variety of repeated funk based bass lines inspiring the band into some very interesting and often off-kilter ideas.

Once this CD gets in your player,you'll be caught up in the immediacy of it all.The inventiveness and excitement never flags.I believe that 'Jack Johnson' is one of the most underrated Miles Davis productions. The band are superb, the music taut with many moments of limpid beauty and the remastering job, brilliantly done.Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Album but..., 20 May 2013
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Miles Davis, in my own view, should be best praised not for his advancements in playing, though they are numerous, but rather his beautiful tone and lyricism; take a song like i loves you porgy and he can play it so sweetly and without compromise in the upper range. Miles lacks this here and that does slightly bring the rating down, the first song right off is 4.5 stars, John Mclaughlin is the hero here and the playing is varied and dynamic enough to warrant some interest, plus the groove is arresting. Yesternow is less impressive; it's not pedestrian but it's not altogether interesting either, it's slow but rather than feeling like a dirge or ballad, or even a brooding funk groove as you'd expect from the first track it just plods along painfully and you're begging it to get somewhere. 3 stars for Yesternow.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty darn funky!, 23 Nov 2006
This review is from: A Tribute To Jack Johnson (Audio CD)
This is basically a 60 min jam. There isnt too much too it, but there is some really great playing, not least by McLaughlin. It's a worthy addition to any Miles collection....rock on fellas!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, 13 Feb 2014
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This review is from: A Tribute To Jack Johnson (Audio CD)
This is in my apionion better than bitches brew and in a silent way .... This is a brilliant album with a great playing from all . The first half of the album is very exciting the second half is a more dreamy sound ! If you like miles and his fusion period and haven't gotthis ...then do so, you won't regret it !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Raging Trumpet, 14 Mar 2013
This review is from: A Tribute To Jack Johnson (Audio CD)
Miles Davis attempts a 70's style rock album, ala Peter Green & Ten Years after.
Comprising of two tracks, but broken into various sections & moods.

1."Right Off"
Starting at quite a fast pace, with great interaction & call n' answer between the Guitar & trumpet. Moving onto a more sombre section with a drone effect, then a bass/trumpet jam with the keyboards arriving towards the end. Next is a funky guitar section with Davis showing us his Sly influence, finishing off with a nice guitar/keyboard interplay.

2."Yesternow"
Starting with a much slowly pace, not too dissimilar to "Bitches Brew", & a little bit of stylings of Alice Cooper! Then Davis speeds the pace up, introducing the keyboards. Next we hear a kind of film noir, which acts like an interlude before the final act. Which is then followed by repetitive funky guitar, with Miles coming in & out with his trumpet.
Finishing off with a short filmic score to complete a quite astounding record.

It is interesting that even though this is a Miles Davis album, the trumpet is not the most prominent instrument on the record, with Davis giving the rest of the musicians a chance to breathe & do their own thing. It's not a million miles from when The Who Improvised at The Isle of White, or Zeppelin at Long Beach.
Being a big rock music fan, I sometimes feel a little frustrated at how unwilling a lot of the acts in this genre are unwilling to experiment, so this record is a absolute god sent, & demonstrates if you're willing to take a creative risk, the rewards are amazing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Boxing clever, 17 Feb 2013
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Tribute To Jack Johnson (Audio CD)
The first paragraph in the booklet notes to this welcome reissue of the original album are by Miles himself, in a characteristically staccato `street` piece about the boxer of the title. Miles starts so:

Can you get to that? And of course being born Black in America...we all know how that goes. The day before Johnson defended the title against Jim Flynn (1912) he received a note "Lie down tomorrow or we string you up - Ku Klux Klan." Dig that!

But Johnson wasn`t to be cowed, as Miles goes on to tell us...
He tells us a lot more in the 52 minues of often exhilarating music on this 1971 release, with Herbie Hancock, John Mclaughlin, Steve Grossman, Billy Cobham and Michael Henderson along for the two long bouts.
The first track - or Side One as was - is called Right Off, and begins the fight in pugnacious style, Miles soon jabbing and ducking like the old pro he by then was.
The music hurtles along. Best Played Loud, if you ask me.
"Side Two" is a slower, slightly less cohesive piece of similar length called Yesternow, which seldom really takes flight. I can`t help wishing for a few longer passages of sustained playing from Miles, which begins to happen towards the end, when matters hot up and sweat can be seen on the contender`s brow. And then - after an echoing, ruminative coda during which we briefly hear Jack himself, his words spoken proudly by actor Brock Peters - it`s all over.
Not the greatest match these men have been involved with, but one you wouldn`t want to have missed, and one which I`m very happy to replay every now and then.
In the right mood, it packs quite a punch.
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A Tribute To Jack Johnson
A Tribute To Jack Johnson by Miles Davis (Audio CD - 2005)
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