S.O.U.L. is a curious but satisfying compilation of electric Miles Davis performances that date from 1969 to 1983. Its track list includes album, live, and outtake versions, and while it seems to be haphazardly assembled by the track list, it makes complete aesthetic sense as a listening experience. Offering the sources for its contents makes this more apparent. It commences with "Little Church" from Live-Evil, which is followed by the longer Water Babies' version of "Splash." The tune "Yaphet," which was recorded during the Bitches Brew sessions (and is included in the Complete Sessions set), first appeared on Big Fun; the latter is the one included here. Next is the long version of "Black Satin" from the Complete On the Corner Sessions. Then the set jumps forward to "Come and Get It" from 1983's Star People before moving back to "Shout" from 1981's Man with the Horn. The "Back Seat Betty" included here is the live one from We Want Miles (1982). The set doubles back again with "Red China Blues," which was cut during the On the Corner sessions but originally issued on Get Up with It. Consequently, we get the edited album take of "One and One" from On the Corner rather than the extended one from the Complete Sessions. The album closes with the wild "Maiysha" from the live Agharta. Again, despite this sequence, the music moves in various directions to showcase that despite the wild differences in sonics and production styles between the '70s and 1983, all of it is unmistakably Davis. The later tracks, when juxtaposed against some of the On the Corner material especially, make perfect sense in that Davis was looking at funk and R&B from the context hearing the music of both eras as accessible popular music.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek