Back in 2003/4 I interviewed a number of people about an album Miles had started recording when he joined Warner Bros from Columbia in 1985, but which was never released. The album was called Rubberband and what happened to the music always intrigued me. I was fortunate to talk to many of those involved in the sessions, including the producers Randy Hall and Zane Giles, and Miles’ nephew and drummer Vince Wilburn Jr, who played on the sessions. I was also lucky enough to hear a lot of the music from the sessions.
The result was a chapter in my book, entitled “Rubberband – the lost Miles Davis Album.” I also wrote an article on its background for Jazzviews.
Well, the good news is that Rubberband is finally released. I should add that yours truly has written the liner notes. It’s been almost 34 years since much of the music was first recorded. There are many people to thank for the release, not least Miles’ Estate: his son Erin, daughter Cheryl and Vince Wilburn Jr. Erin, Vince and Darryl Porter, general manager Miles Davis Properties LLC, were also behind the decision to update the music, while maintaining the integrity of what Miles was doing at the time. I should add that Florence Halfon, consultant – A&R / marketing Warner Music (jazz catalogue) has also played a key role in getting this music released.
The album is produced by Randy Hall, Zane Giles and Vince Wilburn Jr and has some additional musicians, including three vocalists: Ledisi (who sings on Rubberband Of Life); Lalah Hathaway (So Emotional) and Medina Johnson (lead on Paradise and background vocals on So Emotional). Vince Wilburn Jr brought Ledisi and Lalah Hathaway into the project, while Randy Hall brought in Medina Johnson.
BBC Radio 4’s Today had an item on the new album, which featured interviews with Hall, Giles, Wilburn Jr and me. You can listen to it here.
Warner Bros have also produced a mini documentary about the album, featuring the producers, musicians, Florence Halfon and me. You can watch it on YouTube. The photos show Florence and me being filmed for the documentary. It was one of the hottest days of the year in London – hence me wearing shorts!
The album track listing is:
- Rubberband of Life (for more information on this see) – You can hear the track here
- This Is It
- Paradise – It’s also been released as a single
- So Emotional
- Give It Up
- Carnival Time
- I Love What We Make Together
- See I See
- Echoes In Time/The Wrinkle
- Rubberband (original mix)
The front cover of the vinyl LP version
The back cover of the LP version, including liner notes and credits
Two sides of the inside jackets have contact images of Miles
Two sides of the inside jackets contain the credits
The A & B sides and C & D sides have different photos on the labels
The CD is in a digipak format. The CD front and back covers
CD booklet front cover
Booklet back cover
Digipak inside cover
Booklet and CD disc
The first pages of the booklet featuring a photo of Miles and the liner notes
The back inside cover includes photos of singers Ledisi and Lalah Hathaway, and the album’s three producers:
Attala Zane Giles, Vince Wilburn Jr and Randy Hall