The Lost Miles Davis ‘Rubberband‘ Sessions Arrive Three Decades Later With Newly Recorded Vocals From Ledisi and Remix by Amerigo Gazaway
In 1985, Miles Davis shocked the music world by moving from Columbia Records to Warner Bros. Records and started recording Rubberband. This album marked a radical departure for him, with funk and soul grooves, and was to include vocals by Al Jarreau and Chaka Khan. Produced by Davis, Randy Hall and Zane Giles, the line-up boasted 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. Engineered by Reggie Dozier (brother of Lamont Dozier, part of the legendary Motown songwriting team), the Rubberband sessions took place at Ameraycan Studios in Los Angeles from October 1985 to January 1986.
The album was subsequently shelved and Davis went on to record Tutu.
“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,” said Hall. Giles added, “Miles kept saying ‘I don’t wanna do my usual stuff. I wanna do something different.’”
32 years after Rubberband was recorded, the original producers, Hall and Giles, teamed up with Davis’ nephew, Vince Wilburn, Jr., to finish and update the title track. In September 2017, they invited the 12-time GRAMMY nominee soulful singer Ledisi, appearing courtesy of Verve Label Group, to guest on vocals at the Village Studios in Los Angeles. The sessions, co-produced by Anthony “Mac Nass” Loffman and Arthur Haynes for SmashSound Syndicate, together with the original title track, were released as a 45rpm vinyl 12” EP on Record Store Day 2018, and are now available as a 5-track digital EP, including a new remix by Amerigo Gazaway.
1. Rubberband Of Life featuring Ledisi (Radio Edit) 4:20
2. Rubberband Of Life featuring Ledisi 5:43
3. Rubberband Of Life (Instrumental) 5:39
4. Rubberband (Original Version) 6:30
5. Rubberband Of Life (Amerigo Gazaway Remix) 4:41
Remix created by Amerigo Gazaway
Executive Producers: Vince Wilburn Jr, Erin Davis, Cheryl Davis and Darryl Porter for Miles Davis Properties LLC
Producers: Randy Hall, Attala Zane Giles, Vince Wilburn Jr.
Engineers: Reggie Dozier & Kevin Santos
*Special thanks to Florence Halfon
Trumpet: Miles Davis
Drums: Vince Wilburn Jr.
Keyboards: Amerigo Gazaway
Bass: Amerigo Gazaway
Percussion: Amerigo Gazaway
Turntables: Amerigo Gazaway
The cover artwork is a painting by Davis, courtesy of Miles Davis Properties L.L.C.