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Miles Davis ‘Tutu’

Discussion in 'music' started by flatpopely, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. flatpopely

    flatpopely Prog Rock/Moderator

    So having being wooed over to Davis by a vinyl copy of Bitches Brew I thought I’d delve deeper.
    I’m just listening second time around to Tutu........I’m struggling! Miles playing is ace but the backdrop of Miller just sounds like good 80s dinner party funk and clashes with Miles.
    Will it grow on me?
  2. lordsummit

    lordsummit Moderator

  3. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Tutu is very much of its time. I rather like it as it was one of the first Miles albums I bought (when it came out), but its not in remotely the same league as the ‘60s and ‘70s electric stuff. I’d certainly get In A Silent Way, Tribute To Jack Johnson, On The Corner, Live Evil, Get Up With It, Agharta, Pangea etc first.
    Tim Jones and igor_xxxx like this.
  4. Swamp Thing

    Swamp Thing Kill all leave supporters

    After growing up in that Yorkshire listening to punk, new wave and synth pop I went away to the bright lights of university and someone played me Kind of Blue. I asked who it was by and went out and bought Miles's latest album, which just happened to be Tutu. Bit of a shock. For me the 80s bass and funk of Miller probably helped. It was at least contemporary. And it will be forever the second Miles album I heard (obviously watching TV in the 70s I heard thing like Milestones - used as TV themes and incidental music). But if it were not for the history with me I probably wouldn't play it.

    I think it was sideshowbob who once wrote on pfm that Tutu it was an OK Marcus Miller album, but not a very good Miles Davis one.
  5. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Waiting for the streetcar..

    From Decoy onwards, it was very much someone else's album with Miles playing on it.
  6. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Tutu is the best studio album of the Marcus Miller era to my mind, but the earlier live We Want Miles is easily the best of that lot and is actually a pretty decent album. It benefits from space to stretch out and fits better with the earlier electric stuff. Hard to believe Miller was only 21 when he got the call from Miles!
  7. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    Forget the 80s. Head straight to Jack Johnson.
    igor_xxxx likes this.
  8. flatpopely

    flatpopely Prog Rock/Moderator

    I'll give it a try now.
  9. flatpopely

    flatpopely Prog Rock/Moderator

    Ooohh, I'm liking this!
  10. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    I picked up a MoFi copy of On The Corner the other week and am loving it.
  11. blossomchris

    blossomchris I feel better than James Brown

    Right, that does it. Will have to listen again to all these nominated albums as I only have a couple of Miles (not Tutu though)

  12. Thorn

    Thorn pfm Member

    You're Under Arrest is probably Miles' best album since Jack Johnson, possibly even since Bitches Brew.
    I've got seventeen of his albums on vinyl, and since I got my ACE I've been streaming those I've not got. I fell under his spell in about 1965, when I heard KoB in my local record shop.
  13. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Waiting for the streetcar..

    ISTR when that album came out, some wag asked "Have you heard the new Robert Irving III album? It's got Miles Davis on it."
  14. Engels

    Engels pfm Member

    Dated for sure due to the 80s sounds - but crank up "Splatch!" and see why its still got it
    Seeker_UK likes this.
  15. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    Had a feeling you might! McLaughlin rocks like noone else on that album.
    igor_xxxx likes this.
  16. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Waiting for the streetcar..

    If you like it, dare I suggest checking out some Terje Rypdal?

  17. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones pfm Member

    It's just not very good. I sort of associate it with The Face, fashion runway music, and people who obsessively watch Rumblefish.

    I'm amazing myself slightly by saying that I prefer "The Man with the Horn", but that's probably bass player related.
  18. Swamp Thing

    Swamp Thing Kill all leave supporters

    Rusty James! The MotorCycle Boy is dead!
  19. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I suspect being there at the time is significant with this one and I can certainly see approaching it now without context (as I have with the rest of Miles’ ‘80s output) it would sound a bit lame. I bought Tutu after seeing Miles Davis play a track or two on C4’s The Tube, so right where it came out. As such I do get your ‘The Face/runway’ thing, but that doesn’t diminish it, I just see it as somehow connected to say Grace Jones’ Slave To The Rhythm, Propaganda’s A Secret Wish etc, which are also in my collection. I also love the fact that it has a Scritti Politti cover on it - I imagine Green Gartside is still dining out on that one to this day.

    It is also a simply stunning sounding slab of vinyl, which has to help. I’m still amazed how good that record sounds!

    Man With The Horn has made little impression with me, but I’m approaching it now well after the fact. The only one of the ‘80s era that works to a large degree now is probably We Want Miles as it is live and has room to breathe beyond the Fairlights, Synclaviers, Linn Drums or whatever I assume was used at the time of Tutu etc.
  20. MarkW

    MarkW Full Speed & Pagan

    I remember Miles on The Tube. Mostly for Jules Holands abortive attempt to interview the great man. Asked one question, Miles pontificated and the producers got bored and cut to the next segment.

    Tutu and Amandla, which for some reason to my ears has aged a little better, are definitely more a product of Miller and his session crew. Given Miles' lack of compositional creativity in that period, it was probably the only way to get something out of him. Aura was another project built around him, but mostly lacking his real input. Treating one of the finest composers and band leaders of the era as a overlay is probably never going to be entirely satisfying or convincing. But I still listen to those recordings, still find worth in his playing. It's just that his own work set the bar a fair bit higher.

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