Miles Davis' posthumously-released `Doo-Bop' sees him once again pushing his own personal musical boundaries and embracing new styles, in this case rap and hip-hop (in the ascendancy in the late 1980s). Rapper Easy Mo Bee supplies many of the slammin' beats and the rap vocal on three tracks.
The result is a mixed bag, felt by most connoisseurs of Miles' prolific output over 40 years of musical virtuosity and innovation to be definitely not among his best. It's hard to dissent from this view, as the album overall is samey and lacks the depth, complexity and vision which characterises his greatest work. However it does work on its own terms and is popular with the younger crowd, so might offer an accessible gateway into jazz for a listener more comfortable with hip-hop rhythms who then might be encouraged to further explore Davis' extensive and varied back catalogue.
Miles' trumpet playing here is as sharp, inventive and captivating as ever, with his instantly recognisable style. The production values are a little rough, intentionally, to give edge to the `doo-bop sound.' We can only speculate that had Davis lived another couple of years, we might have had a different collection of tracks featuring other rap artists, a more thoughtful and interesting result and a more fitting final paragraph to the epic novel of one of the 20th century's greatest musical legacies.