Warner Music are set to release the Miles Davis Rubberband sessions – a 12-inch vinyl four-track EP – especially on Record Store Day [April 21].
The release arrives some three decades after the music was shelved, original producers, Randy Hall and Zane Giles, teaming up with Davis’ nephew Vince Wilburn, Jr. to finish and update the title track. Two of the tracks feature newly recorded vocals from 12-time Grammy-nominated soul singer Ledisi.
The story behind the release: in 1985, Miles switched from Columbia to Warner Bros. Records and started recording Rubberband. The album marked a radical departure, leaning on funk and soul grooves, and was to include vocals by Al Jarreau and Chaka Khan. Produced by Davis, Hall and Giles, the line-up consisted of Davis on trumpet and keyboards, keyboardists Adam Holzman, Neil Larsen and Wayne Linsey, percussionist Steve Reid, saxophonist Glen Burris and Davis’s nephew Vince Wilburn Jr., on drums. Engineer was Reggie Dozier who oversaw the sessions at Ray Parker’s Ameraycan Studios in Los Angeles from October ‘85 to January ‘86. The album was subsequently shelved and Davis went on to record Tutu.
Remembers Randy Hall: “It was fat grooves, really funky Miles talking. It was street and funky and dirty. We didn’t go after writing a great jazz song, Miles wanted the street thing; he wanted the chord changes he wanted to play. The basis was to take it to the street like On The Corner, it was Miles taking more chances.”
The cover artwork is a painting by Davis, courtesy of Miles Davis Properties LLC.