Miles Davis

Miles Davis Live

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Whether he was playing burning bop, cool swing or sizzling funk, Miles Davis's live performances were always spectacular events that mesmerized audiences the world over. This two-disc live set captures one of Davis' last bands in the south of France in 1988. Though the contemporary electric pop sound that defined his late period music is the focus here, Miles retains his melancholy-blue mystique amid the flash of synthesizers and electronic drums. Among his sidemen are many youngsters that would go on to their own degree of fame including saxophonist Kenny Garrett, keyboardist Adam Holzman and bassist Darryl Jones.

For those opposed to the direction that Davis took in the '80s that continued until his death in 1991, this collection may hold little value. Yet it is the mournful muted lyricism that Miles coaxes from his horn that makes tunes like "New Blues" and "Tutu" just as valid as his earlier work. Even Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time," a rich ballad that Miles plays at an almost whisper to provoke greater emotional impact, benefits from Davis' masterful subtlety. Other worthy cuts include Marcus Miller's exciting "Splatch" and "Full Nelson," Davis' quirky "Movie Star" and "The Senate-Me And You" from Prince.

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