3ology: With Ron Miles (2010)
This take out order of music was made from both sides of the menu from a restaurant serving up both groove and improvisation by the Colorado-based trio 3ology with guest cornetist Ron Miles. This disc is the third release for saxophonist Doug Carmichael, bassist Tim Carmichael and drummer Jon Powers, following Out Of The Depths (CMW Records, 2008) and the self-titled 3ology (CMW Records, 2007).
While 3ology favors a groove-based approach, they shouldn't be labeled as a "jamband." Their music, like fellow Coloradoan Ron Miles, would be filed in the jazz section if there were such things as record stores today. But they prefer to infuse things with funk and jazz (from the 1970s and '80s), and bits of rock, world music, and folk. The addition of Ron Miles here might be a draw for those who are hip to "the best trumpeter you've never heard of." Miles has released seven discs as leader and can be heard on Ben Goldberg's Go Home (BAG, 2010) with Scott Amendola and Charlie Hunter, on Bill Frisell's History, Mystery (Nonesuch, 2008), and Jenny Scheinman's Crossing The Field (Koch, 2008).
While his name is Ron Miles, the disc opens with the other "Miles" and the short, echoey 22-second "All Miles" which might have been a piece dropped at the Plugged Nickel in 1965. The quartet continues the Miles Davis-theme here with a groove-laced pace on "Back in Hotchitakee" with Tim Carmichael and Powers insisting on funk while Miles and Doug Carmichael weave their horns. The saxophonist, at times sounds like a throwback to both Kenny Garrett and Maceo Parker. Ron Miles, though, doesn't mimic Miles Davis. His voice retains his own distinctive mix of warm jazz/folk Americana. Even when 3ology persists, as they do on "Aw Dude," with the popping electric bass and funkjam, Miles eschews '70s sounds, or perhaps replies to the funk like Freddie Hubbard might have with clean distinct trumpet lines. All this makes for an entertaining juxtaposition with the trio sound.
While the default might be funk, there's more to this session than groove. The band backs Miles on the semi-ballad "Jimmyin' The Bakin' Shack," a platform for his expressive gymnastic slurs and vocalizations on cornet. Elsewhere, simple claps and beats support the a cappella cornet on "For Don," certainly played for Don Cherry.
3ology with Ron Miles is a mingling of many things, all of which remain absorbing and agreeable.
Track Listing: All Miles; Gonna Leave A Mark; Back in Hotchitakee; Nightmares Of My Youth; Flight Of the Neo-cerebral Peace Iguana; For Don; Aw Dude; Jimmyin' The Bakin' Shack; Zero Miles.
Personnel: Doug Carmichael: alto saxophone; Tim Carmichael: bass; Jon Powers: drums; Ron Miles: cornet.