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Superb-sounding reissue with extra live CD from 1986!,
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This review is from: Tutu (Deluxe) (Audio CD)
This is at least the 3rd issue of 'Tutu', and sounds MUCH better than the original CD release. And to further tempt you into parting with your money yet again, the bonus is a very hot n'funky 76-minute live concert from Nice 1986, featuring Robben Ford's driving guitar. Which makes this a pretty darn good 2CD set.
The package includes comprehensive notes on the making of the album, by Ashley Kahn; the creation of 'Tutu' has been detailed in at least 2 books on Miles' electric period, so there is no need to go into that here. Suffice to say that it was Miles' 1st recording for Warner Bros, and completely eclipsed his last 2 or 3 albums for CBS. It was brilliant, dark, completely unexpected and futuristic at the time, and this is a superb-sounding re-issue; only the forthcoming SACD release could possibly sound any closer to the master recording.
Davis didn't really know how to write the pop-funk material he needed to play in order to appeal to the young, black audience he was desperate to reach. But he'd used Marcus Miller on bass in the '81-82 'comeback' band, who could and who by this time was also a genius producer - for David Sanborn, among others. And Miller knew - what to do, how to do it, realised this was a crucial point in both his and Miles' careers and that this recording had to deliver far beyond expectations. And he fulfilled that brief. It still sounds unique and completely different.
Nobody had thought that Davis would embrace the new technology so completely, and this album put him back in the forefront of innovation in that field in 1986. Some of the sounds - the opening orchestral stab, for instance - date the record, but within Miles' discography it is to the '80s what 'Bitches Brew' was to the '70s and 'Kind of Blue' was to the '50s, i.e. his most important studio recording of the decade. Dark, knife-sharp, martial, menacing and brilliant, the music glitters and flashes throughout, though the version of Scritti Politi's 'Perfect Way' (the track that sounds the most dated) wasn't one of Miles' greatest ideas.
Then (then!) there is the bonus live CD, of the summer 1986 group firing on all cylinders. Warners recorded as many gigs with Ford as possible, and really should have released a live album at the time; why did no recordings by this line-up make it onto the 'Heard around the World' CD? Incomprehensible, for this was a stunning band; the late and very great Bob Berg and Robben Ford are the saxophone and guitar soloists. Berg never played with anything less than 100%, though he doesn't spark off Ford like he did off Scofield. Ford plays about 7 or 8 out of 10 on this one - which is at least 5 better than most players - but his tone is better recorded and his playing fierier on the 2 CDs within the huge 'Miles at Montreux' box set. However he really cooks - fires up straight out of the gate, and there is a long, thoughtful solo on the 17-minute version of 'Splatch' with some extraordinary and unusual forays into the new musical territory in which he found himself. As for Miles, he is as on form here as he ever got in the 1980s, and hot to play from the off.
So this is a very exciting and inspirational funk/fusion/rock set which shows the Davis band of 1986 had attained considerable firepower, and its inclusion in the package makes the whole thing well worth your attention.