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Miles Davis: That’s What Happened: Live in Germany 1987

During a freewheeling half-hour interview that serves as a bonus feature on this DVD, Miles Davis is asked a number of questions regarding the controversy that has often surrounded his music. Somewhat dubious of the interviewer’s intent, Davis defensively dismisses it as a concern only of critics (white critics in particular). His explanation: “I bought a bottle of Campbell’s soup and I jazzed it up a little bit; that’s what they say in the U.S.A.”

That head-scratcher is, in a way, emblematic of the music that comprises the main segment of the program, a live performance recorded in Germany in 1987: As oblique as it is, it sort of makes sense. The concert-most of the material taken from the albums You’re Under Arrest and Tutu-exhibits all of the dichotomies that marked late-period Miles, a time when Davis and his bands might, within the same show, produce exhilarating, highly charged funk jams, dark and mysterious blues and syrupy sweet, empty-calorie schmaltz.

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