Somewhere in heaven Miles smiles, Miles Davis
that is. Beside him, listening to In The Moment
by drummer, mixmaster, and organizer Makaya McCraven
is Teo Macero
. Both men would have given the nod to this project that culled 73 minutes of music from 48 hours of live performance, recorded over a year of performance with an array of guests.
Miles and Teo (circa 1969) loved long-form improvised jazz. However, like McCraven, they might not call this music (and their music) jazz. Where Teo would take Miles' studio pieces and parts from hours of studio sessions and cut and splice tapes to create masterpieces like In A Silent Way
(Columbia, 1969) orBitches Brew
(Columbia, 1970), McCraven mixed, cut, remixed and assembled this recording. It is a vitalized amalgam of jazz and hip-hop, all improvised and energized by top players.
The starting point here might be the music of the Chicago Underground Quartet and Tortoise, both groups, that featured guitarist Jeff Parker
, who is heard here. Also a touchstone is drummer Doug Scharin's band HiM, with the inclusion of the velvet vibraphone work of Justefan, who pulls classic notes from Roy Ayers
and maybe dreams of Cal Tjader
. The music draws from a coalition of post-rock, funk, hip-hop, jazz, and percussive swing. The beauty is that, although the pieces are remixed, they maintain the rawness of a live performance, with McCraven supplying an unlimited percussive imagination. Jazz fans can identify with the enormous bass sounds of Joshua Abrams
and Matt Ulery
, the sweetness of Marquis Hill's trumpet, and the various pieces and players, who, as with a Miles production, don't get individual credit for tracks. The nineteen pieces here, beg to be expanded, each into it's own 20-minute LP side of music. Now, wouldn't that be something?
Exploration Intro; The Jaunt; Slightest Right; First Thing First; Lonely; Gnawa; On the Spot; Butterscotch; TomTom; Three Fifths a Man; In the Moment; Quartz; Just Stay Right There; Untitled; Requests; Time Travel; The Encore; The Drop; Finances.
Makaya McCraven: drums, beats, loops & overdubs; Matt Ulery: double bass & electric bass; Marquis Hill: trumpet; Junius Paul: double bass & electric bass; Justefan: vibraphone; Jeff Parker: guitar; Joshua Abrams: double bass; De’Sean Jones: tenor saxophone; Tony Barba: tenor saxophone & electronics; Dave Vettraino: engineering.