Miles Davis: Black Satin


Black Satin


Miles Davis (trumpet, handclaps)


On the Corner (Columbia )

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Miles Davis (trumpet, handclaps),

Carlos Garnett (soprano & tenor saxes, handclaps), Bennie Maupin (bass clarinet), Herbie Hancock (electric piano, organ, synthesizer), Harold Williams (electric piano, organ, synthesizer), Lonnie Liston Smith (organ), Chick Corea (synthesizer), David Creamer (guitar), Collin Walcott (sitar), Michael Henderson (electric bass), possibly Paul Buckmaster (electric cello), Jack DeJohnette (drums, whistles), Billy Hart (drums, whistles), Don Alias (cowbells, sheep bells, percussion, whistles), Mtume (waterdrum, sheep bells, handclaps), Badal Roy (tabla, handclaps), Al Foster (whistles, percussion)


Composed by Miles Davis


Recorded: New York, June 6 and July 7, 1972


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Famed English arranger and cellist Paul Buckmaster teamed with Miles Davis for On The Corner in 1972 to introduce some innovative concepts of street funk by way of Stockhausen. Buckmaster's concepts were most closely followed for "Black Satin," which employed his script of multiple rhythms and heavy layering. In turn, the leader figured out how to carry out these ideas.

The Indian instrumentation that serves as both the prologue and epilogue provides an appealing exotic element among the random synth noises. In the middle, there's a funk beat comparable to James Brown's "Mother Popcorn" being defined by drummers, percussionists and handclappers that in itself is larger than most full bands. Miles's wah-wah trumpet competes with his conventional trumpet played an octave lower. Other sounds seem to drift in and out, the result of producer Teo Macero's heavy post-recording tape tinkering. At the center of it all is Henderson's unyielding bass loop.

Beautifully complex, mysterious and extremely funky, "Black Satin" is the last complete expression of Miles's genius in the studio.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron


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