Apr 25, 2016

Miles Davis You're Under Arrest: Perhaps a Silly Cover, but the Music Isn't Bad at All

You're Under Arrest is considered one of the worst album covers in jazz history. Miles' playing dress up as a gangster is certainly not befitting the Legacy of jazz's dark prince right?

...but looking at the cover, is it really that bad? I don't know, somehow Miles still manages to look cool.

Because of the cover being so maligned, I think that  bad reputation has followed the music. For years I did not listen to it because of the critic's view of it.

Thankfully I have learned over the years that these critics aren't always right, and in fact, many times despite their disdain, it virtually promises I'll like the music. You're Under Arrest is one such album:  The entire electric music period 68-91, including the 1980's music of Miles is far better than neo-con jazz critics will have you believe. Compare it to Kind of Blue, of course the 80's music will fail to live up to those grand masterpieces.

Does that automatically make this album not worth listening to? That's the issue for me, don't miss out on this, and other 80's Miles albums because some jazz snob said Miles sold out or dared to fuse r&b into his style.

There's also enough of that voodoo funk think going on from the 72-75 years to satisfy fans of that. It's not as raw, but I think Miles hung on to that vibe until the end, he just rounded the corners off with the smother production. The live albums in the 80's really prove this out.

What's the reasons to like You're Under Arrest?

Miles interprets 2 pop standards: Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" which was co-written by Toto's Steve Porcaro,  and Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time", both tunes are very good, and bring back the sensitive Miles Davis trumpet tone. It would be difficult not to like these 2 tracks.

John Scofield and John McLaughlin both play guitar on the album. While not cutting riffs or anything, they both on separate tracks offer fine performances, this is definitely one more reason to have the album if you are fan of either of them.

The 80's music unfairly maligned

Miles' 1980's music is grossly misunderstood and underrated in my opinion. Most times the music's fusion of R&B is always done tastefully.

 Typically the production on these albums is very "80's," lot's of synths and icy-hot production. The music may even sound over-produced at times.

Ironically the jazz protectors didn't offer that same respect, with those tired cries of leaving jazz behind, and sell-out could still be heard, but if no one really cares what you say, then why do they bother?

Those people were still playing their finely played museum jazz, and couldn't stand that Miles would not conform to their narrow minded view point. He had created half the legacy they were playing in his honor, he done his part and moved beyond it.

So what if this music isn't really jazz? I still like listening to it...you're allow to as well.

No comments:

Subscribe to this Blog Via Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

If you enjoy this blog, any donations are greatly appreciated:

My Blog List


Affiliate Disclosure:
Jason Sositko is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

I also use Adsense,VigLink, Skimlinks, and eBay to earn further affiliate income through this site.Any link you click could take you to a partner page, if you purchase a product I could receive a commission.