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Jason Miles: Miles to Miles: In the Spirit of Miles Davis

Woodrow Wilkins By

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Mention Miles Davis and ears are sure to perk up—especially if you're talking about honoring the trumpet legend. And if you've got a good supporting cast, you can score—big time. That's what keyboardist/arranger/synthesizer programmer/producer Jason Miles has done with Miles to Miles: In the Spirit of Miles Davis.

With such all-stars as Gerald Albright, Michael Brecker, Marc Antoine, Keiko Matsui and Nicholas Payton contributing, Jason Miles delivers a funky, groove-infested album that's sure to set many toes to tapping and fingers to popping. Like Davis did in his time, Miles successfully merges the rhythmic with the adventurous, from Payton's fiery muted trumpet to Albright's smooth sax, all toward the goal of creating sounds that are danceable some of the time, and otherworldly the rest of the time.

As with most musicians who have crossed paths with Davis, Miles' time with the innovative trumpeter continues to inspire much of his new work. Miles, who worked with Davis on the latter's 1986 release Tutu , recreates that kind of effort with his use of samples, panning and other types of technologically enhanced orchestration. Yet Miles is quick to point out this is not simply a tip of the hat to a musician who has inspired many. Most of the songs are original, each penned by Miles and one or more of his contemporaries. "Flamenco Sketches,"? the only exception, was written by Davis.

"This music is real, it's now, and it's dangerous,"? Miles says. "When we made Tutu , it was about taking sound to the next level. Miles to Miles takes it one step further. I thought about what Miles would be digging up today and tried to capture a bit of his creative, renegade spirit in the music."?

That spirit was definitely captured, with the overdrive sound of the opening track, "Ferrari,"? the sassy "Bikini,"? one of two songs that recall Davis' love for women of all sizes, shapes and colors (the other is the funky "Love Code"?), and "Butter Pecan,"? a playful representation of Davis' legendary sweet tooth (he once asked for butter pecan ice cream to be brought to his home—against doctor's orders). These and other songs make Miles to Miles one to get many turns on your CD player. Miles Davis' music was not for everybody, but Jason Miles' presentation of the master's style with all-new material is an excellent formula for keeping the Miles Davis sound alive and making it relevant to a new generation of listeners.

Track Listing

Ferrari; Butter Pecan; Guerilla Jazz; King of the Bling; Bikini; Love Code; Flamenco Sketches Intro; Flamenco Sketches; Voices on the Corner; Street Vibe; Suba; New Worlds

Personnel

Jason Miles (keyboards, drum and percussion programming, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer piano, Hammond B3, EFX, synth bass, percussion loops, ambient EFX, guitar samples, solo synthesizer), Michael Brecker (soprano saxophone, Rhodes melody and synth bass on

Album information

Title: Miles to Miles: In the Spirit of Miles Davis | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Narada Jazz

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