On “Human Nature”

Certain songs, rhythms, keep turning up in my head, and seemingly, everywhere I look.  Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” is one of these songs, in fact, like no other, I come back to it. The first time I heard the original on my Thriller 8-track.

Unbeknownst to me, almost a decade, when I started liking a certain SWV song called “Right Here”, it was the same part of the song from that album – that I realize now also had “Gotta Be Startin’ Something” on it –

Turns out that none other than Pharrell Williams produced that version.  Then I heard it again, on Nas’ “It Ain’t Hard to Tell”, and thought, Oh, that’s the SWV track.

Combing through Mile Davis stuff from his late pop period, I found out he liked “Human Nature” too and even recorded it on E.S.P.  He even played it at his last concert:

Last week, I heard another version, that at first I didn’t even recognize, that seemed perhaps the smoothest, neatest and most complex take on the melody.  This one is by the Vijay Iyer Trio.

Re-mixes.  Repeated rhythms.  I guess it’s human nature.  I’ll put this one next to “Red Clay” by Freddie Hubbard.

Note: Miles was once again on to something.

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