Miles Davis: Full Nelson


Full Nelson


Miles Davis (trumpet)


Tutu (Warner Bros. 25490)

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Miles Davis (trumpet), Marcus Miller (various instruments).

Composed by Marcus Miller


Recorded: Los Angeles, CA, March 12, 1986


Rating: 83/100 (learn more)

The funky "Full Nelson" gets added oomph from the slap bass of producer Marcus Miller, which flies in the context of bouncy, synthetic grooves that would sound great on the dance floor or on '80s night in a club. Encapsulated within are simple drum machine beats, processed handclaps, and individual tracks apparently compiled from several performances. The sonic layers are dated, the cut seems like an early hip-hop prototype, and the electronic track sounds as if it is the brainchild of a computer. One of the least spontaneous Miles Davis recordings, it features looping instrumental parts and a noncontiguous form consisting of phrases broken into individual fragments. These techniques cause Miles's playing to fade into the background despite the beautiful, regal tones that he weaves into the mechanical maze towards the end. As most of the truly human musical elements of "Full Nelson" are washed away by the recording's methodical aspects, the track lacks substantial power and the melodies are tough to recall. This cannot be considered one of the best Miles cuts, but it is a pleasant listening experience for anyone interested in revisiting the final few Miles Davis releases.

Reviewer: Marcus Singletary

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