Tutu cover

After 30 years, Miles Davis left Columbia Records for Warner Bros., and his opening statement was as stark as its black-and-white, sphinxlike cover photo. His piercing, muted horn floated through moody, post-Prince funk soundscapes assembled by bassist Marcus Miller, including a version of Scritti Politti’s minor hit “Perfect Way.” In some ways this album couldn’t be more 1986, but it’s also got an eerie quality on tracks like “Portia” and “Backyard Ritual” that gives it a timeless feel. And the tenderness in his playing is like probing at a bruise.

Phil Freeman

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