Some musicians are recognized not only for their abilities but also their vociferous commentaries, holding true the phrase that the squeaky wheel gets the most attention." Yet there are more subdued voices who let their music do the talking, as is the case for Ron Miles' Quiver, a project led by the Denver-based trumpeter and his talented cohorts, guitarist Bill Frisell and drummer Brian Blade. These gentle masters are highly respected leaders with expansive discographies and projects that have covered a wide spectrum of contemporary music. Miles and Frisell have worked on a number of projects including ...read more
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3[Editor's Note: In Florence Wetzel's in-depth interview with Ron Miles, the Colorado-based trumpeter covers the rest of his releases, including an exclusive first look at his forthcoming album, Quiver (Enja, 2012), due out later this year.] Chapter Index Laughing Barrel Stone/Blossom Quiver Practicing and Composing Thoughts on Performing Self-Promotion and Careers The Colorado Sound Laughing Barrel AAJ: So next you have another Sterling Circle release, Laughing Barrel (2003), which has seven tunes, all your original compositions. Rudy Royston is on drums, and you have ...read more
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3[Editor's Note: The second part of Florence Wetzel's extensive interview with Ron Miles covers the Colorado-based trumpeter's early performance years, and begins a chronological look at all of his solo releases, beginning with Distance for Safety (Prolific Records, 1987) and concluding with Heaven (Sterling Circle, 2002), his soft duet with guitarist Bill Frisell, with whom Miles has played, off and on, since the early 1990s. Part 3 concludes the interview tomorrow]. Chapter Index Distance for Safety Master's Degree and Teaching Witness Mercer Ellington Bill Frisell My Cruel Heart ...read more
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3[Editor's note: Last month, All About Jazz contributor Florence Wetzel conducted a two-hour interview with Ron Miles. The result is the most extensive interview piece ever written about the Colorado-based trumpeter. Part 1 covers his early years and education; Parts 2 and 3, bringing Miles up to the present, will be published on consecutive days.]Now at the midpoint of his career, trumpeter Ron Miles has created a musical output of astonishing versatility and depth. He has nine releases as a leader, including the upcoming Quiver (Enja, 2012) with guitarist ...read more
It's no secret why Ron Miles is one of the most highly regarded trumpeters of his generation. His rich, burnished tone and supple lyricism have won over Bill Frisell and Wayne Horvitz--two of jazz's leading aesthetic visionaries--along with fans who appreciate understatement, whispered dissonance, wry humor. All of these attributes can be found on Stone/Blossom, the Denver-based trumpeter's latest effort, a collection that finds Miles walking the line between rock and jazz, Motown and country, threading these disparate styles together with his unmistakable sound. Stone, the first of two discs, is a fairly straightforward quartet session featuring ...read more
Ron Miles' trumpet has such an appealing tone that I'd eagerly listen to him play the songs of Johnny Cash, Lee Morgan, or Earth, Wind and Fire. His directions in music, like those of his close friend Bill Frisell, have been forged from more than just the jazz canon.
Stone/Blossom is equal parts jazz, 1970s love rock and Americana. The Denver-based artist has graced the bands of Bill Frisell, Matt Wilson, Don Byron, and Denver's well-kept secret, Fred Hess. Like his contemporaries, his music is informed by his experience and his surroundings. This release consists of two discs, ...read more
The idea for Laughing Barrel, the title of trumpeter Ron Miles' latest CD, comes from the writings of Ralph Ellison, the great African-American author. According to Ellison, an enslaved man, when he had the urge to laugh (strangely forbidden fruit for these poor souls), would put his head in a barrel to muffle the sounds of the soul-soothing treat.
Music then--as it does now--also eased the pains of the soul. Field hollers, spirituals, the blues...jazz. And now the Ron Miles Quartet's Laughing Barrel, a perfect soul-soothing/soul energizing follow-up to last year's Heaven, with guitarist Bill Frisell. ...read more