I'm not a Cool-era purist by any means. I love Miles Davis' edgy Bitches Brew and the electric explorations of some of the greats, notably Herbie Hancock. Still, I find Amandla easy to admire and hard to love. This is mostly to do with the deployment of every 1980s production idea in the book, which at the distance of 20-odd years does more to obscure the shimmering Miles Davis trumpet improvs than to showcase them. And the powerful album title promises an edge that I still haven't really found in the album. Still there are moments when the harmonies are gorgeous enough to redeem gratuitous slap bass or echoey overdriven guitar way back in the mix. The album is best where Davis and his foil in any given break spar with freedom and abandon, breathing life into a somewhat synthetic-sounding set. In contrast, Mr Pastorius, which closes the album, is uniquely uninhibited, and to my ears its classic sound is more vital and fresh than nostalgic, especially in the context of the foregoing attempts at fusion.