- Released: October 1, 1986
- Originally Released: 1986
- Label: Warner Bros / WEA
Record Collector (magazine) - p.974 stars out of 5
-- "[The album] is generally perceived as Miles' last significant work."
- 5.Backyard Ritual
- 6.Perfect Way
- 7.Don't Lose Your Mind
- 8.Full Nelson
Personnel: Miles Davis (trumpet); Marcus Miller (various instruments, bass, programming); George Duke (various instruments); Michael Urbaniak (electric violin); Adam Holzman (synthesizer, programming); Bernard Wright (synthesizer); Omar Hakim (drums, percussion); Steve Reid, Paulinho Da Costa (percussion); Jason Miles (programming).
Producers: Tommy LiPuma, Marcus Miller, George Duke.
Engineers: Peter Doell, Eric Calvi, Erik Zobler.
After 30-plus years with Columbia Records, Miles Davis departed to sign with Warner Brothers Records. TUTU finds Miles entering the world of MIDI, chaperoned by former sideman, Marcus Miller and pop jazz hitmaker Tommy LiPuma, and beat box music would never be the same again.
TUTU is the birth of a new kind of cool, based on the emblematic street beats of the mid-1980s, brimming over with orchestrally-styled keyboard programming. The album is a showcase for Miles' evocative muted horn, functioning like a featured vocalist. Not since his work with Gil Evans had Miles deferred so much to a collaborator, and TUTU is a platform for the arranging talents of Miller, who in addition to his distinctive, popping bass lines, plays nearly every instrument on the session--from keyboards to bass clarinet.
And from "Tomass" through "Full Nelson," funk is the order of the day. A tune such as "Perfect Way" sets up a striking call and response between major and minor themes, so that Davis is never simply blowing over repetitive modes. "Don't Lose Your Mind" employs an infectious reggae groove, driving rhythm samples and a taut violin solo by Michael Urbaniak to set up Miles' re-entrance on open horn in a related key center. The title tune colors a catchy shuffle in a rich plumage of contrary motion and secondary themes, while "Portia" reprises a favorite Spanish air, employing synthesizers to parallel the deep brass voicings Gil Evans used so effectively on SKETCHES OF SPAIN. TUTU is a compelling excursion into contemporary pop waters.