Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

287

G.Org: A New Kind of Blue

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Paying homage can be risky business, especially when the source is as seminal as Miles Davis' classic, Kind of Blue. Comparisons are not just begged, they're expected. And how can anyone capture the magic, the confluence of events that put Davis, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb together to create what is one of the greatest jazz albums of all time, an album that changed the face of music and pointed ears in a completely new direction?

The answer is: you can't. And producer Gary Guthrie doesn't even try. Instead, with A New Kind of Blue , what he has done is collect some fine players together with the purpose of reinterpreting Miles' groundbreaking album in a reverential yet contemporary fashion. If you can get past the fact that this is literally a track-by-track remake, and appreciate it for its fine playing that looks back while remaining firmly in the present day, then you're in for a grand time.

There are some notable differences. Without the length restrictions of vinyl, the group—which includes trumpeter Randy Brecker, saxophonist Andy Snitzer bassist David Finck, drummer Victor Lewis, pianist Mike Ricchiuti and, in an unusual move, guitarist Chuck Loeb doing a credible nod to how Wes Montgomery might have approached the material—has more room to stretch out. "All Blues" extends to nearly 22 minutes and, while this could be too much of a good thing, the group maintains interest by changing feels liberally throughout, in particular shifting gears halfway, following a tasteful muted solo by Brecker, to a more contemporary light funk before returning to the more traditional approach at its conclusion.

Brecker, Finck and Lewis are ideal choices, with broad reaches that allow them to embrace the past and present concurrently, while less-obvious choices Snitzer and Loeb, better known for their smooth jazz work, fit the concept perfectly. Guthrie eliminates the question of how influential Bill Evans' "Alone Together" was in the creation of "Blue in Green," by quoting Evans' arrangement for Chet Baker at the start of the track. And by placing Evans' "Peace Piece" at the start of "Flamenco Sketches," Guthrie proves what people have known all along: that Evans deserved more credit for the conceptions on Kind of Blue than Miles ever gave him credit.

Purists may cringe at such a literal reinterpretation of a timeless recording like Kind of Blue—and to be certain, A New Kind of Blue is not destined to be a classic either in terms of its musical impact, nor in terms of the performances, which are strong but don't have the kind of "wow factor" of the original. But what Guthrie has created, with his g.org band, is an homage that sheds some light on the musical connection between Evans and Davis, lends a contemporary and extended spin to some ageless material and, quite simply, makes for an entertaining and engaging listen.

Track Listing: So What; Freddie Freeloader; Alone Together/Blue in Green; All Blues; Peace Piece/Flamenco Sketches; All Blues (alternate version)

Personnel: Randy Brecker (trumpet), Andy Snitzer (saxophone), Chuck Loeb (guitar), Mike Ricchiuti (piano), David Finck (bass), Victor Lewis (drums), Gary Guthrie (producer)

Title: A New Kind of Blue | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: A Nest Of Eggs

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Runner in the Rain CD/LP/Track Review
Runner in the Rain
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 15, 2018
Read Cuarteto Europa CD/LP/Track Review
Cuarteto Europa
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 15, 2018
Read Chicago/Buenos Aires Connections CD/LP/Track Review
Chicago/Buenos Aires Connections
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 15, 2018
Read Beggar’s Banquet 50th Anniversary Edition CD/LP/Track Review
Beggar’s Banquet 50th Anniversary Edition
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 15, 2018
Read Intelsat CD/LP/Track Review
Intelsat
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 15, 2018
Read World Gardens CD/LP/Track Review
World Gardens
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 14, 2018
Read "Starebaby" CD/LP/Track Review Starebaby
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 6, 2018
Read "Persistent Fancy" CD/LP/Track Review Persistent Fancy
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 6, 2018
Read "...don't buy him a parrot..." CD/LP/Track Review ...don't buy him a parrot...
by John Sharpe
Published: January 29, 2018
Read "#awesome" CD/LP/Track Review #awesome
by John Kelman
Published: September 8, 2018
Read "The Ferryman's Curse" CD/LP/Track Review The Ferryman's Curse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 3, 2018
Read "Full Circle Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Full Circle Vol. 2
by Don Phipps
Published: October 4, 2018