Miles would sit in his New York apartment in the summer with the windows
listening. What he heard pouring in was the sound of the streets. Miles
to record an album of music that captured those city noises, those street
sounds, those mixtures of natural and manmade waves that floated in his
Miles knew that these sounds were the future mainstream of music in America,
he wanted to make a record that would be heard by the inner city people,
kids who grew up with rap. He wanted his music played on urban radio,
on a few jazz stations.
He looked for other musicians who felt the street sound too. In early
called his friend Russel Simmons who ran Def Jam Records, and asked Russel
find some young producers who could help create the kind of music Miles
feeling Hip Hop. So Russel and Francesca Spero sent Miles some young producers.
One of these people was a young man called Easy Mo Bee.
When young Easy and Miles the legend got into the studio and started working,
the feeling was wonderful. Easy would lay down the tracks; Miles would
And when he was happy with what he heard, hed get out his horn, go to
and kick out the melody like he had been practicing those lines for years.
got it so right so fast that it was like a boxer with just a split second
make a knockout punsch and landing it just right. They did six tracks
It was magic.
The plans Miles had for this record were very ambitioous: in addition
collaboration with Easy Mo Bee there was the ongoing, important work-in-progress
with Prince. Miles had asked John Bigham to work on material, and, in
there was another New York producer, Sid Reynolds, with whom Miles had
collaboration. Then there was the material from the late 80s that Miles
the RubberBand Session. He wanted to rework and modernize some of the
that session and use it on this album. At one time, Miles had called Mo
the chairman of Warner Bros. Records, and told him that he had enough
for a double album!
Then in september 1991, Miles went in the hospital. For a tune-up, he
routine, nothing major. Ill be right back. When Miles died on september
1991, all that had been finished were the six tunes hed done with Easy
And none of the other work was even close to ready.
We had the RubberBand tapes in New York and were listening to the fine
performances on them (no wonder Miles wanted those performances released!)
Miless friend and management team member, Dorothy Weber, suggested the
that completed this record. It worked like this: we asked Easy Mo Bee
to the trumpet playing and to build tracks around the trumpet that Miles
have loved, and that artistically fit into the package of tunes they had
done. The two posthumous tunes (can you guess from listening? I bet not)
High Speed Chase and Fantasy.
So, here you have the last studio album by Sir Miles Davis. It was made
out of a
powerful feeling between Miles and Easy Mo Bee. We hope it kicks you,