Miles Davis’ album Tutu, released in 1986 and named for Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, was a landmark recording for the trumpeter. The richly arranged material from that album and its followup Amandla served to define Davis’ sound for the final act in a long career of growth and transformation. Produced by bassist Marcus Miller, who had been a member of Miles’ band when he came out of retirement back in 1980, Tutu is widely recognized as one of the great contemporary jazz records of the ’80s with a powerful sound and feel that defy categorization.
In this age of tributes and revisiting of older albums, perhaps it’s no surprise that Tutu is being given a second life. And likewise that the man behind the rebirth is the man who was behind the record in the first place. All summer, Marcus Miller will perform “Tutu Revisited,” a concert of Miles Davis material, with a band drawn largely from a new generation, including Christian Scott on trumpet, Alex Han on saxophone, Louis Cato on drums, Frederico Pena on keyboards, and of course Miller on bass (and occasionally bass clarinet).