While word 'genius' gets throw around (perhaps too often) directed at musicians we love, Miles Davis undoubtedly WAS. The man's career was full of highs and lows, but from early on in his career, he led, influenced and followed his own path.
What I find especially fascinating about Miles are periods that may get overlooked by many; specifically, his works recorded between 1965-1974. While many of his peers went off into a free jazz bag, Miles grounded his music with that great universal bond- rhythm. The pre-electric albums (ESP to Neferttiti) seem to get overlooked; a pity, as these albums took Miles into the rhythmic directions that led to the groundbreaking first two recordings of the electric period that caused the jazz world to be turned upside down during 1968-69: namely, In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew. These LP's are classics of the highest order. I'm almost embarassed to admit that it took about 20 years for me to fully get into Bitches Brew; I first bought it as a teenager and it just didn't strike me in the way that In A Silent Way did immediately (after re-listening two years ago, I'm completely enchanted and deep into it).
The early '70's became a highly prolific period for Miles, and the massive amount of vinyl he released (many of which are doubles) can be challenging listening, but there are plenty of rewards to be had. These two 45's were both drawn from 1972's On The Corner LP; a record which alienated MANY of those who stuck by Miles, and one which took a critical beating. However, time has been very kind to this LP, and upon its re-release on CD in the mid-90's it has rightly taken its place as not only an ass shaking piece of intense jazz funk, but also many years ahead of its time in how it was created. Miles' symapthetic and creative producer, Teo Macero, adopted an amazing practice of edits that worked as a collaboarative effort with Miles; Teo took tapes of improvisations and pieced them into tracks. Of course, this process is standard practice today, but sadly, it's often abused (record one verse and chorus to a pop song, and paste together a track) to create fake music that loses the human element. Teo and Miles used the editing process in a way that took the music into other directions.
On The Corner is especially notable for a groove that runs through the first side, all the while an overwhelming amount of freaky melodies weave in and out of the groove, courtesy of Miles. On the LP, side 1 ends with a track called 'Black Satin', although it's nearly impossible to tell where one track begins and another ends as they all weave together. For a single release, Miles mischievously named an alternate edit of the 'Black Satin' groove 'Molester'; probably inspired by a then recent accusation thrown at Miles by a woman (Miles had a very dark side that I will make no excuses for- he had a streak of treating women horribly).
Of course, it's kind of a novelty that these 45's exist, as the music is not at all commercial and didn't have much of a chance of being played on the radio anywhere. However, I wouldn't be surprised if legendary NYC club DJ Francis Grasso spun 'Vote For Miles (part 2)' as the rhtyhmic intensity could easily cause a melt down on the right kind of dancefloor.