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Miles Davis - You're Under Arrest CD (album) cover

YOU'RE UNDER ARREST

Miles Davis

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.60 | 24 ratings

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js (Easy Money)
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars You're Under Arrest marks the beginning of the last phase of Miles Davis' lengthy career. With this album he finally lays to rest the free rock jams that served him so well from the early 70s on and becomes a sophisticated and worldly purveyor of his own unique brand of pop/jazz. Although this album may seem like a commercial sell-out, in many ways Miles is returning to the days when he get could bring a tear to people's eyes with his quirky and ironic, yet sentimental versions of My Funny Valentine and Porgy and Bess, only now he is playing hits by Michael Jackson and Cyndi Lauper, plus a few popish instrumentals he wrote himself.

After a pointless incidental album opener Miles heads straight into Human Nature, a beautiful pop ballad by Michael Jackson. Miles' version does the original justice and his trumpet playing is sweet and melancholic as he stays true to the innocent nature of Michael's original recording. This is followed by two nice pop-jazz instrumentals that find Miles mixing popular 80s influences such as Prince and Weather Report. This is pop-jazz with a unique and personal flavor and has nothing to do with the sort of pabulum served up by the likes of Kenny G.

Side two opens with Katia, a world beat influenced fusion number with poly-synth horn stabs galore that mines a sound and style that was also popular with Weather Report at the time. Katia also features some great guitar work from John McLaughlin who returns to work with his old boss one more time. Next up is Miles' version of Cyndi Lauper's sentimental ballad, Time After Time. Once again Miles plays it straight and delivers a direct and unflinching version of Cyndi's bittersweet tune. I saw Miles perform this song in concert just a few months before his death. At that point in his career the song had been slowed down and spaced out to the point of being some sort of mystical connection to the beyond. Davis' trumpet would hang on to, and stretch, every note and when the two main chords that announce the chorus slowly rolled by they were like massive tsunami waves of emotion. I wish I had a recording of that concert because people were so moved during the performance that many spontaneously yelled out to him during the tense quiet moments. So much for people who felt Miles was a sell-out for recording pop tunes. The rest of side two is taken with another funky world beat fusion number, You're Under Arrest, which features great guitar work from John Schofield.

The 80s was a hard time for Miles, at the beginning of the decade he returned to his hard jazz-rock roots from the 70s, but soon wore that approach out on Decoy. You're Under Arrest is an improvement as Miles begins to turn to sophisticated pop and modernized world beat to break from the past and create a more mature and elegant music to take him through his last days.

js (Easy Money) | 3/5 |

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