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Miles Davis - Rubberband CD (album) cover


Miles Davis


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.04 | 7 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars MILES DAVIS (1926 -1991) is without a doubt one of the biggest figures in jazz history. As the liner notes in this posthumously finished album say, "he was never a man to rest on his laurels". He had made a great impact on the history of jazz and especially on fusion, and still in his late years he was keen to make modern music with the new generation. Rubberband is "the lost Miles Davis album" recorded in mid-80's but shelved at the time; instead Davis recorded the album Tutu. Rubberband was finished last year by several producers, after three years' dedicated work, with a host of young guest artists. According to the liner notes, "Davis was bursting with ideas for potential musical collaborators when he moved to Warner Bros". Co-producer Attala Zane Giles explains that Davis "wanted to mesh what we were doing as young musicians, which was commercial and funk".

So, there we have it, the reason why this album won't much win the hearts of the prog-oriented listeners. (BTW, funnily each of the four reviewless ratings this far differ between five stars and one star.) I personally don't enjoy r&b flavoured funk, and I probably would have only run thru this album just once using the skip button frequently, but I think the least this unique case deserves is one informative review.

The very funky opening song is sung by a female artist called Ledisi. I like the way Miles Davis's trumpet joins the party. Instrumental 'This Is It' has a heavy funk rhythm and tight electric guitar playing. 'Paradise' has some steel pan and vocals of Medina Johnson; this is very joyful piece, and the trumpet is only the icing of the cake.

'So Emotional' featuring Lalah Hathaway has that nasty, sweaty r&b beat I nearly hate, but apart from that it's a well produced, sensual mid-tempo r&b ballad. On the following instrumentals the amount of hard-edged funk heaviness in the arrangements really begins to be too much for me to bear. 'I Love What We Make Together' was written for Al Jarreau, who finally heard it 30 years later but sadly died before he sang it. Randy Hall does a good job as another male singer.

This is purely commercial stuff, r&b and funk, and hardly much enjoyed by an average prog listener. But nevertheless, in addition to writing (or rather, finishing) another chapter in Miles Davis's discography, in this particular genre it's a fine release combining the 80's world and the up-to-date production, and it features pretty good musical contributions, Davis's trumpet being just one of the many. 2 stars rounded upwards.

Matti | 3/5 |


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