All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

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...

333

Miles Electric Band: Bitches Brew To Tutu At SFJAZZ

Walter Atkins By

Sign in to view read count
We play our renditions of his [Miles Davis] music. We want to do it justice. —Vince Wilburn Jr.
Miles Electric Band
SFJAZZ Center
Bitches Brew To Tutu
San Francisco, CA
June 11, 2016

As part of the expansive 34th Annual San Francisco Jazz Festival, the cordial staff at SFJAZZ presented the outstanding Miles Electric Band in the spacious Miner Auditorium. Vincent Wilburn Jr., drummer and nephew of the acclaimed Miles Davis, lead the Miles Electric band in celebration of the music and spirit of "The Chief."

The capacity crowd was treated to fresh interpretations of Davis jazz-rock classics spanning his Bitches Brew to Tutu period. According to Wilburn, "We play our renditions of his music. We want to do it justice." Robert Irving III concurred. The keyboardist added, "Miles would say don't play a note unless you mean it. Everyone was conscious of serving the integrity of the music. We did that tonight."

Some members of the MEB worked with Davis during this prolific time in his long career. The evening's stellar lineup consisted of Sean Jones, Antoine Roney, Robert Irving III, Greg Spero, Blackbyrd McKnight, Darryl Jones, Vincent Wilburn, Jr., Debasish Chaudhuri, Abbos Kosimov, Munyungo Jackson and Jeremy Ellis. The opening video included Davis' commentary on his work and featured Chaudhuri's tabla work. The MEB launched into 1971's "Jack Johnson" reimagined in their unique funky style. McKnight's guitar work had an expressive feel especially during his fluid solos. Other songs presented were "Sanctuary," "Nefertiti" "Decoy," "Pharaoh's Dance," and "It Gets Better."

The opening song brought the house into the music and set the direction for the night. Everyone on the bandstand was given ample room to explore and soar during the session. Trumpeter Jones played with clarity and power while saxophonist Roney distinguished himself particularly on the bass clarinet. Keyboardist Irving who was Davis' musical director played with poise and provided timely contributions.

The MEB's formidable percussion section provided a rock solid foundation of surging polyrhythms for the band members to explore collectively and individually. Percussionist Jackson and keyboardist Spero were highlighted "In A Silent Way."

One of the many magical moments featured Jackson, Chaudhuri and Kosimov in an extended triangle of percussion and showmanship culminating with Chaudhuri skillfully playing three tablas at once. This display garnered one of the many buoyant ovations heard during the show. Wilburn and company closed with "Jean Pierre" with bassist Jones (Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton) thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to stretch out. It was an exceptional evening of music that seemed to end too soon.

Audience response was overwhelming and heartfelt. During one song, a supporter sitting behind me yelled, "That's what I'm talking about!" Another fan and voice student commented she "was rather star struck, because I never anticipated being in the same room with so much talent!"

The Miles Electric Band brought their own singular interpretations to the music and philosophy of Miles Davis. In doing so, MEB contributed to extending the timeless legacy of the Chief.

Photo credit: Walter Atkins

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read The Magpie Salute At The Grand Point North Festival 2018 Live Reviews
The Magpie Salute At The Grand Point North Festival 2018
by Doug Collette
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Chris Isaak at The Paramount in Huntington, NY Live Reviews
Chris Isaak at The Paramount in Huntington, NY
by Christine Connallon
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Detroit Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Detroit Jazz Festival 2018
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner Live Reviews
Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia 2018 Live Reviews
Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia...
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2018
Read Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood Vampires, Black Asteroids & Paul Lamb Live Reviews
Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood...
by Martin Longley
Published: September 16, 2018
Read "Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood Vampires, Black Asteroids & Paul Lamb" Live Reviews Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood...
by Martin Longley
Published: September 16, 2018
Read "36th International Tampere Jazz Happening" Live Reviews 36th International Tampere Jazz Happening
by John Ephland
Published: December 4, 2017