Doo-Bop

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Doo-Bop
Doo-Bop front.jpg
Studio album by Miles Davis
Released June 30, 1992
Recorded January 19 – February 1991
Studio Unique Recording
Genre Jazz rap, hip hop, R&B, jazz
Length 40:02
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Easy Mo Bee
Miles Davis chronology
Dingo
(1991)
Doo-Bop
(1992)
Miles & Quincy Live at Montreux
(1993)

Doo-Bop is the last studio album by American jazz musician Miles Davis. It was recorded with hip hop producer Easy Mo Bee and released posthumously on June 30, 1992, by Warner Bros. Records. The jazz rap album was received unfavorably by most critics, although it won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance the following year.

Background[edit]

The project stemmed from Davis sitting in his New York apartment in the summer with the windows open, listening to the sound of the streets. He wanted to record an album of music that captured these sounds. In early 1991, Davis called up his friend Russell Simmons and asked him to find some young producers who could help create this kind of music, leading to Davis' collaboration with Easy Mo Bee.

At the time of Davis' death in 1991, only six pieces for the album had been completed.[1] Easy Mo Bee was asked by Warner Bros. to take some of the unreleased trumpet performances (stemming from what Davis called the RubberBand Session), and build tracks that Miles "would have loved" around the recordings. The album's posthumous tracks (as stated in the liner notes) are "High Speed Chase" and "Fantasy". A reprise of the song "Mystery" rounded out the album's nine-track length.[2]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[2]
Down Beat 4.5/5 stars[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 3/5 stars[4]
Entertainment Weekly B–[5]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/4 stars[6]
Q 4/5 stars[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2/5 stars[8]

Doo-Bop was released by Warner Bros. Records on June 30, 1992.[9] By May 1993, it had sold approximately 300,000 copies worldwide.[3] The album received negative reviews from most critics.[10] Greg Tate called it an "inconsequential" jazz-rap record from Davis,[11] while Billboard found the R&B-based album to not be "quite cut as deeply" as his 1970s funk recordings.[12] In Entertainment Weekly, Greg Sandow wrote that Davis' solos were performed with "impeccable logic and wistful finesse" but accompanied by hackneyed guest raps and unadventurous hip hop beats, which reduced Doo-Bop to "elegant aural wallpaper".[5] Los Angeles Times critic Don Snowden believed the album "succeeded only in fits and starts" because of Davis' first time working with hip hop tracks, "the rigidity" of which Snowden felt often reduced his "muted-laced-with-echo trumpet to just another instrumental color in the mix".[6] Richard Williams from The Independent viewed the tracks as a regression from the ambient-inflected Tutu (1986) album as they inspired trumpet improvisations from Davis which displayed "a rhythmic banality that was never remotely discernible in Miles's pre-electric playing".[13]

In a positive review, Q called Doo-Bop "a collector's piece ... as hip, sexy, open and complex as the best of his work since he elected to turn to FM airplay music in the 1980s".[7] Musician considered it a pleasant hip hop album and an accessible introduction to Davis' music for "younger ears weaned on modern beats".[14] In Down Beat, Robin Tolleson wrote that Davis sounded less timid than on previous few records as "his phrasing and concept adapt sharply from tune to tune".[3] Doo-Bop won the 1993 Grammy Award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance.[15]

Track listing[edit]

  • All tracks produced Easy Mo Bee, except where indicated
Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Mystery" 3:56
2. "The Doo-Bop Song" 5:02
3. "Chocolate Chip" (Davis, Easy Mo Bee, Donald Hepburn) 4:41
4. "High Speed Chase" (Davis, Easy Mo Bee, Larry Mizell) 4:40
Side two
No. Title Length
5. "Blow" 5:07
6. "Sonya" 5:32
7. "Fantasy" 4:38
8. "Duke Booty" 4:56
9. "Mystery (Reprise)" 1:26

Personnel[edit]

Credits are adapted from The Last Miles (2007) by George Cole.[16]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1992)[17] Peak
position
American Albums Chart 190
American Jazz Albums Chart 1
American R&B Albums Chart 28

References[edit]

  1. ^ Miles Davis Community at Sony Music Entertainment.
  2. ^ a b Allmusic review
  3. ^ a b c Alkyer, Frank; Enright, Ed; Koransky, Jason, eds. (2007). The Miles Davis Reader. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 160, 310–11. ISBN 1-4234-3076-X. 
  4. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Miles Davis". Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0857125958. 
  5. ^ a b Sandow, Greg (August 21, 1992). "Doo-Bop". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 22, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Snowden, Don (July 26, 1992). "Miles Davis Leaves a Hip-Hop Finale". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 22, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Q: 70. September 1992. 
  8. ^ Considine, J. D. (2004). "Miles Davis". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 215, 219. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  9. ^ Britt, Bruce (June 18, 1992). "Miles Davis` `Hip-bop` Disc Due June 30". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved May 22, 2016. 
  10. ^ Freeman, Phil (October 29, 2014). "Miles Davis Albums From Worst To Best". Stereogum. Retrieved May 22, 2016. 
  11. ^ Tate, Greg (2012). "Tutu and Farewell 1986-1991". Miles Davis: The Complete Illustrated History. MBI Publishing Company. p. 200. Retrieved May 22, 2016. 
  12. ^ Newman, Melinda; Morris, Chris; Morris, Edward, eds. (July 18, 1992). "Album Reviews". Billboard: 48. Retrieved May 22, 2016. 
  13. ^ Williams, Richard (July 25, 1992). "Jazz: Miles Davis- Doo-Bop". The Independent. Retrieved May 22, 2016. 
  14. ^ "June 1992". Musician: 96. 
  15. ^ "THE 35TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS : Winners in Other Grammy Categories". Los Angeles Times. February 25, 1993. Retrieved May 22, 2016. 
  16. ^ George Cole (2007). The Last Miles: The Music of Miles Davis, 1980-1991. University of Michigan Press. p. 313-314, 509. 
  17. ^ "Doo-Bop: Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved May 22, 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]