Miles Davis’ Rubberband – An Album That Better Should Have Stayed Unpublished

Thank you again for all your feedback

I get a lot of comments, both on the site itself and via direct message. And I truly appreciate every single element of feedback. It is what keeps me going now 5 years in a row.

Recently you told me you’d like more reviews of Jazz albums, and also encouraged me to write more critical reviews. I often tend to shy away from them, as my reviews clearly are very subjective opinions, and I really don’t like to critisize great musicians just because I don’t like some of their albums.

That said, the next musician won’t mind, a) he’s passed away a long time ago, and b) he’s one of the most brilliant musicians ever and nothing I’ll write here will take anything away from this

Miles Davis – Rubberband (Warner 2019)

This is a negative review that is more of a warning. Stay away from this zombie at all cost.

In the 1980s, Miles Davis had finally left his long term label Columbia to sign up with Warner. He then started recording some tracks. For several reasons, these tracks were never fully finished, and ended up in a drawer somewhere.

Now, somebody decided, let’s take these tracks, complete what Miles didn’t complete, and let’s see if we can still milk the Miles Davis brand.

First of all, people think of Miles Davis as a Jazz musician. Let’s be clear, in the 1980s had moved on, to a style much more influenced by funk and pop. Nothing wrong with this, it’s not really my cup of tea, but Tutu an album that was recorded shortly after this, is a modern classic. It will never get a lot of playtime on my system, but I understand why some people like it.

Rubberband really never should have been published in my opinion. Without Davis’ trademark horn popping up every once in a while, it would have just been a very bland synthetic late funk / 80s pop album. So if you’re interested in 1980s funk jazz, get Tutu (or some Herbie Hancock stuff from that era). But really avoid this “album” at all cost.

My rating: 1 star (this is now officially my first 1 star review in 5 years and more than 300 posts)

If you still want to check it out, you can find it here (Qobuz)

Author: Musicophile

I'm not a professional musician, I don't work in the music industry, I'm just what the name says, somebody who loves music. I've been in love with music for all of my life, took piano lessons for nearly 10 years, and played in several amateur Jazz groups. I go to concerts, both classical and Jazz, quite regularly. And I collect music previously on vinyl and CDs, now on my computer, and am slightly OCD on my music collection. You can reach me at Musicophile1(AT)gmail.com

8 thoughts on “Miles Davis’ Rubberband – An Album That Better Should Have Stayed Unpublished”

  1. Dear Musicophile
    Most of your reviews make me discover an outstanding artist/album. Unsure negative reviews provide any value… unclear why I should read them & clearly I am not going to listen to the albums you hate. There are millions of recordings out there, may I respectfully suggest to fully focus on helping your loyal readers find some diamonds? Very best regards Vincenzo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Musicophile
    Most of your reviews make me discover an outstanding artist/album. Unsure negative reviews provide any value… unclear why I should read them & clearly I am not going to listen to the albums you hate. There are millions of recordings out there, may I respectfully suggest to fully focus on helping your loyal readers find some diamonds? Very best regards Vincenzo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Vincenzo! I agree in principle, that’s why the overwhelming majority of my reviews are positive recommendations. The name of Miles Davis is just such a legend that some may just buy it blindly. Hence my warning. But overall it’s much more fun writing about good than bad music!

      Like

  3. Okay, but I don’t think the album is that bad. I like Miles’ funk period stuff in general. I even like some of “Decoy” which is from around the same time. I liked the second cut here, “This is It” and a couple of others.
    Okay, I’m not buying it. But that’s what Qobuz is for….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your feedback. My review is clearly biased as I’m not very much into funk in the first place (with some exceptions). Luckily we all have different tastes! And fully agree the option of having everything available for streaming is fantastic!

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  4. I disagree that we shouldn’t sometimes publish negative reviews and in fact when Chris was wondering whether or not to do so, encouraged him. (But he made up his own mind.) I review albums too on occasion. And while I like to write about those that are really good, I like to let people know which ones to steer clear of, even if they are our favorite stars. Hell, I read a ton of movie reviews and I want the reviewer to save me a few bucks if the movie, in his or her opinion, stinks. Hence, Rotten Tomatoes. That’s the whole purpose of reviewing and criticism. If Musicophile has written over 300 reviews and this is the first one he’s given one star to, that’s a pretty good track record.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jim. I’ll probably try to find a middle way, focusing mostly on the good stuff and just throw in an occasional word of warning like this one, particularly when it concerns big names.

      Like

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