The third and final collaboration between Miles and Miller, resulted in a heady mix of go-go, zouk, funk and jazz-swing. It also saw Miller mix electronic instruments with live musicians. Amandla features a number of strong numbers including the ballad title track, the opening joyous number “Catémbe”, the bitter-sweet “Hannibal” and the superb “Mr. Pastorius,” which sees Miles, Miller and drummer Al Foster playing jazz-swing on a soulful tribute. On the downside, Amandla suffers a little from the sleek, highly polished production values of the 1980s, but there are many magic moments on this album.
Excerpt from The Last Miles:
Amandla: Marcus Miller recalls Al Foster’s reaction to “Mr. Pastorius”
“I said ‘man, you gotta get over here and hear what Miles just did!’” recalls Miller. When Foster arrived at the studio, Miler first played him the track “Amandla”. “Al was like ‘man, you brought this cat back,’ and then I said ‘listen to this!’ and I played him ‘Mr. Pastorius’ and man, Al gets a little weepy when Miles does his thing. Al’s eyes start tearing-up and he says ‘alright, let’s put some drums on these things.’”