An album derided in its time by clueless critics and too far ahead of its time to be understood by most casual music fans, On the Corner is Miles Davis’s often overlooked future funk masterpiece. Miles was immersed in his electric period at this time and critics and fans were expecting something along the lines of Bitches Brew, itself a truly groundbreaking and brilliant album, but in a much different way. Where BB gives the listener colorful swirls of sounds and textures that seem expansive and vast, OtC is decidedly frantic and hurried, and the sounds are contained tightly within a steady, pulsing beat that never relents. Miles draws heavily on funk and African rhythm schemes on this record, keeping the bass focused and intense, while delivering a seemingly endless palette of instruments being used in innovative and unique ways to create sounds previously unheard on jazz records at that point in time. This is truly an album to sit and pay attention to. It’s also a great album for a walk around town or train ride to work. I can’t really think of a bad time to listen to it, to be honest. Except bed time, because this album’s gonna make you get up and move.

Miles Davis – On the Corner

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