Miles Davis was apparently a massive fan of Sly Stone, and in particular this song. In fact, he liked it so much that he forced his band to listen to it over and over again for half an hour so they could absorb some of the vibes. You can see how it could appeal to someone like Davis with a penchant for musical experimentation.
For one thing, the timings on the song are pretty weird. It’s jerky and syncopated, not some smooth rolling funk. That isn’t to say it isn’t funky; it’s supremely funky, with it’s organ noodling, staccato hits of various instruments, the intermittent horns, the wild bassline, the sparse yet crazy drum pattern.
It’s not a pop song, but it’s also catchy in it’s own way. The tune is just so funky. You might consider this the pinnacle of human funkiness. Will the future ever produce such a happy marriage of syncopated rhythms and catchiness? I’m not so sure.
The song came out in 1973 on the album Fresh, which saw Sly & The Family Stone push the boat out in terms of musical innovation and artist development. It certainly paid off by producing gems like this!
This is the funkiest funky funk of all time!
P.S. If anybody knows some good synonyms for “funky”, drop a comment because I can’t express it any other way…