Miles Davis: Tutu

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COMPOSERS: Miles Davis
LABELS: Warner
PERFORMER: Miles Davis (tp), Marcus Miller (bass), George Duke (keyboards), Michal Urbaniak (vln), Paulinho da Costa (perc)
CATALOGUE NO: Warner 8122797687


By the time Tutu was released in 1986, 60-year-old Davis had long consigned jazz ‘to the museum’. Recovered from serious illness, he was looking to the future. But the music he jointly authored with the then 27-year-old multi-instrumentalist Marcus Miller hasn’t stood the test of time as well as his earlier, groundbreaking classics. Rather than timeless it sounds dated now. Perhaps that’s because rock and reggae from the era informed the album’s hard, shiny production values. Miller’s reverberating fretless bass, drum machines and synth, over which Davis eases out his steely lines, are pure Eighties. Lacking in emotion and warmth, perhaps Tutu accurately reflects the mood of the time. As such it is still an essential part of the Davis canon; an important diversion down a creative road that was full of surprises. This ‘Deluxe Edition’ includes a previously unreleased live recording from the 1986 Nice Jazz Festival. Garry Booth