Miles Davis: You're Under Arrest


You're Under Arrest


Miles Davis (trumpet)


You're Under Arrest (Columbia 1086219)

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Miles Davis (trumpet), John McLaughlin (guitar), John Scofield (guitar),

Bob Berg (soprano sax), Robert Irving III (synthesizers), Darryl Jones (bass), Al Foster (drums)


Composed by John Scofield


Recorded: New York, January 26, 1984-January 1985


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Written by guitarist extraordinaire John Scofield, Miles Davis's "You're Under Arrest" places the focus squarely upon Miles, whose soloing defies his age (58) at the time of the session. Years of experience can be heard in his flawless phrasing, yet a vitality is exuded that transcends the dated '80s synthesizer-dominant sound that stamps the music's production. The highly advanced musical techniques practiced here incorporate herky-jerky backbeats and an expansive arrangement that highlights the players' strengths. Even though this was a new sound at the time, the clashing, jittery sounds of the electric guitar, slap bass, and diminished chords still permeate today's jazz. The twitchy rhythms characterize most of Davis's up-tempo tunes, but this recording does not resemble much of his previous or subsequent work.

Most interesting is that, erected upon several chord combinations, the songwriting is more structurally challenging and complex than the majority of tracks the bandleader cut following the dissolution of his 1960s quintet featuring Shorter/Hancock/Carter/Williams. This recording is a surprising find in a vast catalog of works where, due to sheer volume, some important pieces are undeservedly ignored.

Reviewer: Marcus Singletary

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