The key to understanding what Miles was doing in The Complete On The Corner Sessions is revealed in a Changes magazine interview in 1974: "I think it's time that people changed where they put the melody. The melody can be in the bass, or a drum sound, or just a sound".
With these sessions, Miles left behind the standard approach of the solo as the sole source of melody. From the first notes of "On The Corner", the soloist became one of the many sources of melody, which now coming from all corners of the band. A large part of this was the work of a young Englishman named Paul Buckmaster, who Miles met in 1969. He was greatly impressed by Paul's sophisticated version of this approach, which came out of his fascination with composers such as Stockhausen, Lutoslawski, and other 20th century masters.
The set incudes complete takes of the "On The Corner" sessions with new mixes that allows the listener to really hear all the inner parts so this approach can be fully appreciated, as well the original edited mixes. One fabulous feature is notes by Paul Buckmaster giving the untold story of how this record came about, detailing the process that he and Miles used.
This set also includes tracks from "Get Up With It", an equally important and influencial record for the world beyond jazz. "Rated X" has been cited by some producers as the genesis for dark drum and bass. Brian Eno considers "He Loved Him Madly" as major inspiration for his ambient works that followed.
But best of all this set includes around 2 hours and 45 minutes on unreleased tracks, all of which this reviewer would classify as very worthwhile. They are too numerous to list, but included are great takes from the large group that threw sitar and tabla into mix, plenty from guitarist Pete Cosey, reedman David Liebman, and the unmatchable bass of Michael Henderson, whose rock solid grooves were central to all this music.
For jazz fans who believe there is life beyond 1967 and electronic fans looking for new ideas, this set is a piece of history that's worth the big price.