Miles Davis - Live in Paris (DVD) ~ Miles Davis (actor) Cover Art

Miles Davis - Live in Paris (DVD)

Miles Davis

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For over five decades, trumpeter/bandleader Miles Davis (1926-91) was a major innovator of cool, modal, avant-garde, and fusion jazz styles. This video captures Davis''s last working band: alto saxophonist/flutist Kenny Garrett, drummer Ricky Wellman, percussionist John Bingham, keyboardist Kei Akagi, bassist Benjamin Rietveld, and lead bassist Foley McCreary, live at the 10th Annual Paris Jazz Festival on November 3, 1989. With these musicians'' sympathetic and syncopated support, Davis''s trademarked Harmon-muted trumpet tones dance and trance over the combo''s supple electric swing. The Michael Jackson hit "Human Nature" is reworked by Davis and company into an up-tempo workout, capped by Garrett''s stirring solo; Davis''s slow and sexy "New Blues" harks back to the down-home music of his youth.

Bassist-arranger Marcus Miller was Davis''s last great collaborator, and he composed the sophisticated funk numbers "Amandla," "Tutu" (named for South Africa''s Bishop Desmond Tutu), and the elegy "Mr. Pastorius" (penned in honor of the great bassist Jaco Pastorius). Throughout the concert, the bespectacled Davis prances across the stage with the grace and energy of a dancer and a boxer, huddling with his sidemen to play and share a phrase. Interview snippets with Davis feature the trumpeter waxing philosophic on race and music making. All told, Miles in Paris shows that the man called "Prince of Darkness" was full of artistic light near the end of his creative life. --Eugene Holley Jr.

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