On The Corner - still on the edge

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Darkroom post-xmas listening has been filled with a shiny metal box: Miles Davis' 'On The Corner'. It's the 3rd time I've owned the disc itself - both vinyl and BGO reissue having been part-exchanged long ago... so why again? Starting with the reason I haven't owned it for a while - I kept finding myself playing earlier, more atmospheric Miles (Nefertiti/In A Silent Way) or later, fuzz-heavy workouts (Aghata). OTC always seemed too dense, and somehow astringent... meant to be good, but never something I'd reach for to enjoy. Now, having heard all those sessions through, I think this was one set really waiting for digital: the unedited tracks are allowed to stretch out and develop, with the intense balanced out by the more subdued. Like a time capsule, waiting for some alien future technology to help decode it. Some real discoveries; some puzzles (couldn't 'Red China Blues' have been hidden somewhere else, on a separate disc?) Some of the most intense sound ever packed onto tape.

Mike, Jan 2008