Miles Davis - Water Babies (LP)
After a long period of experimentation from the late-60s to the mid-70s, jazz trumpet legend Miles Davis was experiencing dire times. His commercial fortunes had dwindled, and after the poor initial reception to his 1972 studio album On The Corner his critical acclaim had begun to lag as well. Compounding this was a heavy dependency on drugs and alcohol, paired with a slew of health problems, and frequent sexual trysts. After a series of live festival appearances, Davis took a lengthy hiatus from music in 1975 to get himself together. His next studio album would not come until 1981. Despite his seclusion, Davis had opted to renew his contract with Columbia, to whom he provided a series of compilation albums to fulfill it. One of these was 1976's Water Babies, which consisted of rarities and outtakes highlighting two different sounds from Davis: post-bop Miles Davis Quintet sessions in 1967, and his early experimentation with fusion in 1968. The 5-song collection featured Davis working alongside many of the key players from both periods, including Wayne Shorter on saxophone, who was also given the chief writing credit for the five tracks, Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea on keyboards, Ron Carter and Dave Holland on Bass, and Tony Williams on drums. An essential piece for the Davis completionist, and an important stop-gap album showing his transition from traditional jazz to fusion.