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Miles Davis - Star People CD (album) cover

STAR PEOPLE

Miles Davis

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.17 | 22 ratings

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js (Easy Money)
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Star People is Miles' second studio album after his much celebrated return from retirement. This is a good jazz fusion album full of stellar performances by some of the top players of the day, yet by Miles standards it seems to fall a little short. The problem is that even though this record came out in the early 80s, it features a more or less 70s style jazz-rock. Staying with the same style too long can rob your music of it's emotional impact. Star People has little of the chaotic rage of Live at the Fillmore or Dark Magus, nor does it have the quiet mystery of Pangea or Agharta. Also missing is the creativity and risk- taking of Big Fun or Get Up With It.

This album features three very up-tempo rockin fusion numbers that are quite good, if not a bit dated in style, two slow blues numbers that are less good, and an odd jazzy pop tune that is the 'star' of this album. The three up-tempo numbers feature the incredible bass work of Marcus Miller, the fiery guitar work of Mike Stern and the more abstract jazzy stylings of John Schofield. All three of these numbers really take off, but you begin to get the feeling you have heard Miles do this before, and with more passion.

The two blues numbers tend to drag on with nothing remarkable happening and both are marred with persistent ride cymbals and/or rim shots that are mixed way too loud. The fact that these two numbers are even on here is evidence that Miles was starting to run out of ideas. The best song on this album is U'n'I, a unique and totally charming pop tune that features an old school be-bop melody set on top of a laid back shuffling hip-hop beat. It sounds like a sunny day stroll in New York City while people visit from their stoops and children play on the sidewalk. This song shows where Miles would be heading as he started to shift from his 70s jazz-rock style towards his 90s sophisticated jazz pop.

This album isn't bad, the three fusion numbers are classic Miles rave ups, and the gem-like jazzy pop tune is one of a kind, but the two blues tunes sound like filler.

js (Easy Money) | 3/5 |

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