None of Miles Davis' recordings has been more shrouded in mystery than Jack Johnson, yet none has better fulfilled Miles Davis' promise that he could form the "greatest rock band you ever heard." Containing only two tracks, the album was assembled out of no less than four recording sessions between February 18, 1970, and June 4, 1970, and was patched together by producer Teo Macero. Most of the outtake material ended up on Directions, Big Fun, and elsewhere. The first misconception is the lineup: the credits on the recording are incomplete.
A TRIBUTE TO JACK JOHNSON was originally conceived as the soundtrack for a documentary on the life of the first African American heavyweight boxing champion, but the album stands on its own as one of the most brilliant, compelling fusion recordings ever made. This is due in large part to the increasing influence of rock and funk on Miles's aesthetic, to the superb musicians (including Davis himself– who turns in some stunningly vigorous solos), and in part to the production skills of Teo Macero, who collaged the album together from numerous jam sessions into two lengthy, majestic tracks.