All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

251

Gerry Gibbs: Gerry Gibbs & the Electric Thrasher Orchestra Play the Music of Miles Davis 1967-1975

Chris M. Slawecki By
Published:
Sign in to view read count
Gerry Gibbs: Gerry Gibbs & the Electric Thrasher Orchestra Play the Music of Miles Davis 1967-1975 Among other callings, drummer/percussionist and bandleader Gerry Gibbs serves as occasional "aural historian" of the mercurial music of Miles Davis. Gibbs' most recent tribute to one of the most controversial and notorious segments of Davis' career—fusion explorations that began to expand jazz with Nefertitti (Columbia) in 1967 and continued to stretch past even its most elastic points with Get Up With It nearly a decade later—honors Davis' artistic spirit, approach, and some of his most electrifying music.

Plays The Music of Miles 1967-75 was culled from four hour-long sets recorded during one 16-hour session, with Brian Swartz (trumpet and electric trumpet) and Doug Webb (soprano saxophone) admirably blowing the horn solos. "We began playing the song that Miles opened every single set with for many years" (Joe Zawinul's "Directions"), Gibbs explains. Other musicians include guitarist Mike Hoffman, whose resume includes a band led by Tony Williams, one of Davis' hardest-rocking drummers, and inexhaustible bassist Brandon Rivas.

Gibbs' arrangements—more than twenty Davis compositions arranged into two CDs, each CD a seamless, 13-song suite—seem to unify and contextualize Davis' already legendary body of work. They become even more astounding when you press "play." In "Bitches Brew," his rhythms alternate between sharp jabs and roundhouse wallops before simmering down into viscous, murderous funk. His shimmering cymbals and whippersnapper snare gallop alongside Rivas' walking bass to honor "Nefertiti," in an arrangement that doubles trumpet with soprano sax to honor the original's Shorter-Davis frontline. This quickly slips into the shockingly electric "Black Satin," a showcase for keyboard and guitar solos which his snare rocks hard but keeps the groove slippery.

Highlights of Gibbs' second suite include "Right Off," with staccato drum and rhythm guitar tickling its stuttering underbelly before the arrangement seems to turn the music in two directions at one time, guitar chords crashing hard down into the beat while the trumpet soars upward and out. "Pinocchio," "Sanctuary," and "Nem Um Talvez" string together more light and roomy jazz. But in another direction, "Inamorata" illuminates the psychedelic influence—across the spectrums of rhythm, volume, and sound—that guitarist Jimi Hendrix unmistakably had on Davis' music of this period, fueled by drums which Gibbs beats like they stole something from him.


Track Listing: CD1: Directions (Take 1); Double Image/Gemini; Masqualero; Little Church; Bitches Brew; Improv 1; Bass & Percussion Improv 1; Nefertiti; Black Satin; Miles Runs the Voodoo Down; Lonely Fire; Travere (Take 1); What I Say/The Theme. CD2: Vocal Improv; In a Silent Way; In Concert (Part III); Right Off; Bass & Percussion Improv 2; Pinocchio; Sanctuary; Nem Um Talvez; Calypso Frelimo; Travere (Take 2); Inamorata; Directions (Take 2); The Theme.

Personnel: Gerry Gibbs: drum, quicka drum, vocals, congas, balifon, slit drum, wood flute, vocal drums; Brian Swartz: trumpet, electric trumpet; Doub Webb: soprano saxophone, bass clarinet; Rob Hardt: bass clarinet, alto flute, flute, piccolo; Andy Langham: Fender Rhodes, mini-moog, synthesizer; Mike Hoffman: electric guitar; Brandon "Big Tastee" Rivas: electric bass; Essiet Okon Essiet: acoustic bass; "Brother" Gabriel Herrera: vocals; Dwight Trible: vocals; Felicia Nelson: gongs, African bells, chimes, rain stick, whispers; Chrissauna Chery: gongs, African bells, chimes, rain stick, whispers.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Whaling City Sound


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Live In Studio
Live In Studio
Whaling City Sound
2016
buy
Live In Studio
Live In Studio
Whaling City Sound
2015
buy
We're Back
We're Back
Whaling City Sound
2014
buy
Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio
Gerry Gibbs Thrasher...
Whaling City Sound
2014
buy
Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio
Gerry Gibbs Thrasher...
Whaling City Sound
2013
buy
Thrasher Dream Trio
Thrasher Dream Trio
Whaling City Sound
2013
buy

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.