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Miles Davis - Decoy CD (album) cover

DECOY

Miles Davis

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.46 | 21 ratings

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js (Easy Money)
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Decoy came out soon after the release of Star People. Although there are similarities, on Decoy Miles starts making his first ventures into a more electronic jazz-pop sound. Decoy is Miles at the crossroads, still clinging to his worn out free-rock jams on some cuts, but also taking some tentative shots at some kind of new merger of techno, jazz and pop on others.

The album opens with the song Decoy, a hard funk/jazz number with a slight 80s sound that isn't too bad. Marcus Miller's replacement on bass, Daryl Jones, is OK but no match for Miller. Robot 415 is a short piece of techno-jazz exotica that is kind of bizarre and interesting. Code M.D. is Miles' first attempt at forming a new kind of elegant pop-jazz based on modern rhythms and sounds. It's Ok for a first try, but future developments on subsequent albums will refine this idea. Side one closes with Freaky Deaky, a bit of forgetable fluff with an annoying persistent bass line.

Side two opens with What it Is, a classic high energy Miles styled hard rock blow-out. These kind of jams used to sound great in the early to mid 70s, but by the mid-80s are starting to sound passe, plus Miles' annoying horn-synth stabs don't help. All the same, John Scofield turns in some great guitar work. That's Right finds the band returning to the slow abstract blues style that filled up much of Star People. This style sounds even more tired this time around. Everyone turns in a nice solo, but soloing over slow blues is like shooting monkeys in a barrel. Side two closes with an even more furious hard rocker, That's What Happened, that has Miles and Schofield playing cool syncopated harsh unisons that are marred by that damn keyboard synth/horn section again.

This isn't a bad album and probably of interest to fans of Miles' fusion years. This will be the last album where Miles rocks out, and John Schofield and Al Foster turn in great performances to celebrate that fact.

js (Easy Money) | 2/5 |

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