Sunday, December 20, 2009

Miles DAVIS - Doo Bop 1992

Miles DAVIS - Doo Bop 1992


This is the recording Miles Davis was working on when he checked into the hospital in mid-September of 1991. With his passing on the 28th of September, a major epoch in American music came to a close. Somewhere in the back of his mind he probably knew that he was living on borrowed time, because earlier that summer he'd finally consented to make a nostalgic return to the classic music that emerged from his collaborations with Gil Evans (MILES & QUINCY AT MONTREAUX). But as the contemporary sounds of DOO-BOP indicate, Miles Davis was incapable of sustained backwards glances.

As the rapology of J.R., A.B. Money and Easy Mo Bee on "The Doo-Bop Song," "Blow" and "Fantasy" indicates, Miles and his collaborators were still feeling each other out in terms of themes and context. The raps revolve around hangin' with the legendary Davis--let's dim the lights and get down with my man Miles. In terms of dance tracks, the Afro-Cuban airs of "Blow" make it the most successful, while "Fantasy" re-visits Clyde Stubblefield's much sampled "Funky Drummer" beat--via the "Red Clay" chord changes--with hip-happy results.

But many of the funky arrangements are a bitch, and Miles sounds funky, lyrical and relaxed. "Chocolate Chip" recalls the ancient doo wop and R&B antecedents of modern funk, including a nod to James Brown, while "Duke Booty" presents the modern perspective on funk. And "High Speed Chase" anticipates the current acid jazz fascination with cool blues and boogaloo grooves of the Blue Note and CTI studio styles, as Miles blows bumblebee lines over fatback organ, vibes and a variety of street sounds.
This was Miles Davis' final studio album and his first album, fusing jazz with hip hop. He died while only six tracks had been completed and producer Easy Mo Bee was asked to build tracks around some unreleased trumpet recordings. High Speed Chase and Fantasy are the tracks that were made after Davis' death. You'll notice quite a few familiar samples being used here, from the likes of Kool & The Gang, Donald Byrd, James Brown, and ESG, among others.
The last studio album from Miles and I had mixed feelings about it, mostly good though. I'll start by saying that the cover artwork does confuse listeners as to what style of jazz is on the album. It's jazz mixed with Hip Hop, and in much the same way Us3 would do it at about the same time. So what we have is producer/rapper Easy Mo Bee mixing hip hop drums and samples while Miles Davis played the horn, and yes, three tracks contain lyrics too. The problem with the lyrics I have is that they are pretty lame and mostly praise Miles, but I guess it's his album anyway.

There was 6 tracks recorded with Miles before he died and 2 done post-humous. The production is so well done that one can't tell which is which and I'll live it to the listener to find out. I like this kind of jazz and although critics hated this album I think, for the time, it was something new and fresh and even fans of St-Germain may get a kick out of the instrumental tracks.
Miles Davis- (Trumpet);
A.B. Money, J.R.- (Vocals);
Easy Mo Bee- (Rap Vocals).
01. Mystery  3:55
02. The Doo Bop Song  5:00
03. Chocolate Chip  4:38
04. High Speed Chase  4:41
05. Blow  5:06
06. Sonya  5:31
07. Fantasy  4:35
08. Duke Booty  4:55
09. Mystery (reprise)  1:29

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