ALBUM REVIEW: Miles Davis Springs Back to Life on ‘Rubberband’

The late jazz icon like you’ve never heard him before.

If any artist could release vital new music from the grave, it would be Miles Davis. 

The Prince of Darkness’ newest posthumous release is a collection of recordings that were shelved by Warner Records back in 1985, before being completed by his nephew Vince Wilburne, Jr. 

Experimenting with vocals and sound distortion, and topping it with a main trumpet lick that sounds as though the instrument itself is saying “Rubberband,” the title track sees Miles laying down a sound unlike anything we’ve heard from him before. 

Songs like “Give it Up” and “Carnival Time” emote the same energetic feeling of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, which was still ruling the charts at the time of recording. The latter is a fantastic recording that brings an exhilarating groove that begs to be repeated. 

In the middle of the album, Lalah Hathaway lays down some smooth and warm vocals over the song “So Emotional.” Combining her voice with the stylings of Davis’ trumpet creates a once in a lifetime sound.

With a tight groove created by the mix of vocals, hip-hop production, and samples from the original title track, “Rubberband of Life” shows the great musical lineage in the Davis family. Reimagined and revitalized by Vince, this alternate title track is a fitting tribute to the late jazz icon whose love for musical expression is very much alive today.

Score: 🎺🎺🎺🎺🎺 / 5

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