(Eagle Eye Media)
BY DAVID GREENBERGER
When Miles Davis returned to recording and performing in the
early eighties after a six-year hiatus, it marked a new and final phase for his
would die in 1991.) Setting aside the robustly rhythmic, dense and dark
explorations of the seventies, his focus moved to brighter colors and
compositions which showcased melodicism. Davis
had also left Columbia,
his longtime label, signing with Warner Brothers and, in 1986, releasing Tutu. He got behind its promotion with
touring and even landed a video of the title track on MTV. The seven musicians
in his band were young and tightly rehearsed.
For the concert documented on That’s What Happened, Davis’ two
keyboardists and their racks of synthesizers created undulating beds over which
Davis, saxophonist Kenny Garrett and guitarist Joseph McCreary soloed; Davis’ solos further
underscored how he’d re-embraced melody. Drums and percussion were no longer
the monstrous tribal wallop of the previous decade, but backbeat-steady
anchoring with attractive filigrees. A well recorded performance, this is an
important reminder that Davis
continued to create strong, even stunning music in the last years of his life.
Special Features: Miles Davis interview for German television, short feature on his visual art.