Clive Davis, the new head of Columbia, understood the implications of the rise of pop, rock, and folk music. He strongly urged the jazzmen in his catalogue to evolve or to leave. Both intrigued and scornful of the white man’s music, Miles was inspired to take up the challenge and leave the ghetto of popular black music—soul and funk—to which he felt rock music was indebted. Beginning in December 1967, he experimented in the studio, much like the Beatles, letting the tapes turn continuously and leaving the editing to his producer Teo Macero. He imposed an electrical keyboard on Herbie Hancock and frequently called in a guitarist. Taking the initiative again, he wrote two titles: “Country Son,” with its contrasting moods, and “Stuff,” unabashedly funk, with
Ron Carter on the electric bass guitar. On “Paraphernalia,” Wayne Shorter continued to explore his imaginary constructions which George Benson’s guitar (à la Wes Montgomery) coarsened, while Tony Williams invented paranormal computations in “Black Comedy.” The album was entitled Miles In The Sky, with a nod to the Beatles’ song “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.”

Original issue: Columbia LP CS 9628 on July 22, 1968
Producer: Teo Macero
Engineer: Frank Laico

January 16, 1968 (a)
Miles Davis (tpt); Wayne Shorter (ts); George Benson (el-g); Herbie Hancock (p); Ron Carter (b); Tony Williams (d)
May 15, 1968 (b)
Miles Davis (tpt); Wayne Shorter (ts); Herbie Hancock (p); Ron Carter (b); Tony Williams (d)
May 16, 1968 (c)
Same personnel as May 16
May 17, 1968 (d)
Miles Davis (tpt); Wayne Shorter (ts); Herbie Hancock (el-p); Ron Carter (el-b); Tony Williams (d)
All tracks recorded at Columbia Studio B,


  1. Stuff [d]
  2. Paraphernalia [a]
  3. Black Comedy [c]
  4. Country Son [b]
  5. Black Comedy* (alternate take) [c]
  6. Country Son* (alternate take) [b]

Not on original LP