127

Children on the Corner: Rebirth

By

Sign in to view read count
Children on the Corner: Rebirth In this age of acid jazz, trip hop and jam bands it's difficult for most listeners to realize just how controversial On The Corner was when it was first released more than 30 years ago, when fusion was becoming something other than nuclear and for most folk funk was merely an odor. Miles Davis had developed a cadre of dedicated disciples from the pot smoking-acid tripping Caucasian counterculture with the "Directions In Music" he cooked up on Bitches Brew , but the innovative concoction failed to attract the mass African American audience he sought. On The Corner was a conscious attempt on the part of the great trumpeter to do just that. One only had to look at the album cover's bold caricatures of ghetto icons like Helen Butte and Mr. Freedom X to know what side of 110th Street Miles' music was headed towards.

Motown bassist Michael Henderson was the fresh ingredient added to the Davis stew to make the music, still a blend of electric/acoustic, popular/avant-garde and urban/exotic elements, more appetizing to black youth. While his presence failed to bring Miles the mass adulation of black adolescents he sought, Henderson's contributions did more than subtly alter the music from a cerebral to a physical experience.

After a protracted absence from the scene the bassist is back with Children on The Corner to take his rightful place in the vanguard of the now established genre he helped to create. The cooperative group which also includes electric Miles alumni, drummer Ndugu Chancler, guitarist Barry Finnerty, saxophonist/flutist Sonny Fortune and tablas/ percussionist Badal Roy, plus keyboardist Michael Wolff, whose own group Impure Thoughts has been exploring similar territory, is a living tribute to the longevity of Miles' vision.

Rebirth , a 2002 concert recording from Yoshi’s, is an exciting document of how this music continues to grow. Beginning with a 21-minute excursion on Joe Zawinul's “Directions” the band explores the sonic landscape first unearthed by Davis. Fortune is scorching on alto and soprano sax, soloing with raucous abandon over the shifting rhythmic propulsion of Henderson and Chancler; and ethereal and earthy on flute, blending beautifully with Roy's funky eastern beats (which are brought to the forefront on “Oakland Raga”). Finnerty alternately weaves in and out of the rhythm section, emerging as a fiery soloist with lines at time reminiscent of Hendrix, Jerry Garcia and various James Brown axmen. Wolff shines on Fender Rhodes, B-3 and piano, particularly on his own “Tone Poem” and “Madimba,” where he freely interjects some Monkisms into the cannon.

The Miles compositions “New York Girl” and “Black Satin” are executed with similar aplomb, as is the uncredited “B-Flat Philly Funk.” The band displayed the same funky fire, with Victor Jones replacing Chancler, last month at Joe's Pub in a set that got off to a roaring start with a jamming “Foxy Lady” and then roamed freely through Milesean territory that sounds as fresh and exciting today as it did when it was first discovered three decades ago.


Track Listing: 1. Directions (Zawinul) - 21:13 2. New York Girl, Pt.1 (Davis) - 10:58 3. Oakland Raga - 4:29 4. New York Girl, Pt.2 (Davis) - 1:49 5. Madimba (Wolff) - 4:48 6. Tone Poem (Wolff) - 4:14 7. BD Philly Funk - 13:50 8. Black Satin (Davis) - 11:36

Personnel: Sonny Fortune - Flute, Saxophone; Michael Wolff - Piano, Keyboards, Vacuum Cleaner; Badal Roy - Tabla; Leon "Ndugu" Chancler - Drums; Barry Finnerty - Guitar; Michael Henderson - Electric Bass.

Title: Rebirth | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Sonance Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Meeting My Shadow CD/LP/Track Review Meeting My Shadow
by James Nadal
Published: July 22, 2017
Read No Secrets No Lies CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read 50 CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Lovers
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "Left" CD/LP/Track Review Left
by John Sharpe
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Hark The Herald" CD/LP/Track Review Hark The Herald
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "So Cute, So Bad" CD/LP/Track Review So Cute, So Bad
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 5, 2017
Read "Lacy Pool_2" CD/LP/Track Review Lacy Pool_2
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 14, 2017
Read "Books On Tape, Vol. 2 - Standard Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Books On Tape, Vol. 2 - Standard Edition
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 17, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!