Decoy represents the first sign of a major shift in the way Miles made music for the rest of the decade. Now, he would delegate much of the work to younger musicians, who used synthesizers and other electronic instruments to create the music. Keyboardist Robert Irving III composed and arranged much of the music on Decoy, which features John Scofield on guitar, Branford Marsalis on soprano saxophone and Darryl “The Munch” Jones on bass. The energetic title track is a classic, while the bluesy “That’s Right,” is an 11-minute epic with fine performances from everyone. Decoy also includes two highly-charged live funk numbers, and while some of the other tracks are less successful, this album is well worth checking out.
Excerpt from The Last Miles:
Decoy: Branford Marsalis on the impact of Miles on his playing
“I am notorious for not practising, so my playing was really hit or miss. But the presence of Miles Davis had me so focused in a way that I’d never really experienced before. I had never been tired before after playing and that was another thing I learnt from him. Miles just had me on point man [on my toes]; it’s the best I’ve ever played. Wynton was like ‘You don’t play like that in my band,’ and I said ‘You hire Miles to stand in the room while we’re doing the record and I have a feeling I will.’”