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Whirlpool with Ron Miles: Dancing on the Inside

Glenn Astarita By

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Track review of "The Crew"

Venerable cornetist Ron Miles sat in with the core bass-less trio, Whirlpool during a 2013 live performance at a music venue in the hornist's hometown, Denver CO in 2013. As the story goes, this union resulted in synergistic output, leading to Dancing on the Inside. Guitarist Jeff Swanson advises that the "The music was written specifically with Ron's unique musical voice in mind for this expanded quartet version..."

Miles' resounding, lyrically charged extended notes; gruff accents and melodically tinged soloing sprees work rather well, especially when trading effervescent fours with alto saxophonist Caroline Davis. The band largely focuses on executing mid-tempo progressive jazz discourses while often digging deep for several introspective choruses amid the soloists' animated phrasings, shifting paradigms and soft balladry. No doubt, they abide by a diverse musical climate while injecting a couple of rock grooves and faintly teetering on the avant-garde schema in spots.

Davis' "The Crew," is a mid-tempo hard bop piece, performed within the archetypal Charlie Parker mold. Here, the frontline's springy unison notes are peppered by drummer Charles Rumback's peppery brushes and energized stick work. Miles launches the first round of solos with his bronzy and prophetic melody lines, later contrasted by Davis' airy tonal shadings and flourishing improvisation, spotted with searching inferences during the bridge. Moreover, Swanson remains busy and productive, comping along with the drummer via intricately fabricated chord clusters. It's a finger-snapping oeuvre shaded with old school jazz values and among several upbeat and blustery works on this congenial program, enamored by the musicians' harmonious accord from start to finish.

Track Listing:

Personnel: Caroline Davis: alto saxophone, voice; Ron Miles: cornet; Charles Rumback: drums; Jeff Swanson: guitar.

Title: Dancing on the Inside | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: ears&eyes Records

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