Miles Davis: Yesternow
Miles Davis (trumpet)
A Tribute to Jack Johnson (Columbia S 30455)
plus in Group 1: Steve Grossman (soprano sax), Herbie Hancock (organ), Michael Henderson (electric bass), Billy Cobham (drums); and in Group 2: Bennie Maupin (bass clarinet), Sonny Sharrock (electric guitar), Chick Corea (electric piano), Dave Holland (electric bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums).
Composed by Miles Davis.
Recorded: New York, February 1970
Rating: 96/100 (learn more)
Producer Teo Macero really chopped up this piece in the editing room. Consequently, cohesion suffers, and many people didn't care for that. Today, however, in this jam-band, home-studio and sampling recording world, Teo seems like a genius. At times, "Yesternow" is haltingly slow and disjointed; at other times, it builds pace with such thick electricity—an overwhelming feeling of voltage—that the tune seems plugged directly into a wall outlet. Miles himself plays sparingly, more intent on being charged-up as he lets guitarist McLaughlin and bassist Henderson provide the power supply. To create the final version, Macero tacked-on a couple of other session pastiches involving, except for Miles and McLaughlin, completely different personnel (listed in our Musician credits above as Group 2). This music too has its moments, but the original lineup is the dominant force in the tune. As the piece comes to a close, the great actor and voice, Brock Peters, declares his identity as Jack Johnson and informs us, in so many words, that he is not going to take any shit from anybody. Dig it!
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky