Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Miles Davis: Get Up With It [Columbia, 1974]
Only two of the six "short" tracks--they total about an hour--are more than good background. "Maiyisha," which recalled his most lyrical early-60s stuff, and "Honky Tonk," a snazzy blues. Even the rocking "Red China Blues" is marred by a Wade Marcus horn chart, and "Rated X" is an experiment in organ noise that's not so great in the background either. But the two long ones--they total over an hour--are brilliant: "He Loved Him Madly," a tribute to Duke Ellington as elegant African internationalist, and "Calypso Frelimo," a Caribbean dance broken into sections that seem to follow with preordained emotional logic. Not necessarily music to fill the mind--just the room. A-