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Ron Miles: I Am A Man

Read "I Am A Man" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

When two workers were killed by a malfunctioning garbage truck in Memphis in 1968, the flames of activism were rightly stoked. Sanitation workers fed up with poor working conditions and abuse of power poured into the streets wielding “I Am A Man" signs, making a principled stand that spoke not only to the situation at hand, but also to a broader struggle connected to the civil rights movement. That incident remains clearly fixed in cornetist Ron Miles' mind, standing out ...

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Ron Miles: Quiver

Read "Quiver" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Some musicians are recognized not only for their abilities but also their vociferous commentaries, holding true the phrase that “the squeaky wheel gets the most attention." Yet there are more subdued voices who let their music do the talking, as is the case for Ron Miles' Quiver, a project led by the Denver-based trumpeter and his talented cohorts, guitarist Bill Frisell and drummer Brian Blade. These gentle masters are highly respected leaders with expansive discographies and projects that have covered ...

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Ron Miles: Jazz Gentleman, Part 3

Read "Ron Miles: Jazz Gentleman, Part 3" reviewed by Florence Wetzel

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3[Editor's Note: In Florence Wetzel's in-depth interview with Ron Miles, the Colorado-based trumpeter covers the rest of his releases, including an exclusive first look at his forthcoming album, Quiver (Enja, 2012), due out later this year.] Chapter Index Laughing Barrel Stone/Blossom Quiver Practicing and Composing Thoughts on Performing Self-Promotion and Careers The Colorado Sound Laughing Barrel AAJ: So next you have another Sterling Circle ...

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Ron Miles: Jazz Gentleman, Part 2

Read "Ron Miles: Jazz Gentleman, Part 2" reviewed by Florence Wetzel

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3[Editor's Note: The second part of Florence Wetzel's extensive interview with Ron Miles covers the Colorado-based trumpeter's early performance years, and begins a chronological look at all of his solo releases, beginning with Distance for Safety (Prolific Records, 1987) and concluding with Heaven (Sterling Circle, 2002), his soft duet with guitarist Bill Frisell, with whom Miles has played, off and on, since the early 1990s. Part 3 concludes the interview tomorrow].

INTERVIEWS

Ron Miles: Jazz Gentleman

Read "Ron Miles: Jazz Gentleman" reviewed by Florence Wetzel

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3[Editor's note: Last month, All About Jazz contributor Florence Wetzel conducted a two-hour interview with Ron Miles. The result is the most extensive interview piece ever written about the Colorado-based trumpeter. Part 1 covers his early years and education; Parts 2 and 3, bringing Miles up to the present, will be published on consecutive days.]Now at the midpoint of his career, trumpeter Ron Miles has created a musical output ...

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Ron Miles: Stone/Blossom

Read "Stone/Blossom" reviewed by Matthew Miller

It's no secret why Ron Miles is one of the most highly regarded trumpeters of his generation. His rich, burnished tone and supple lyricism have won over Bill Frisell and Wayne Horvitz--two of jazz's leading aesthetic visionaries--along with fans who appreciate understatement, whispered dissonance, wry humor. All of these attributes can be found on Stone/Blossom, the Denver-based trumpeter's latest effort, a collection that finds Miles walking the line between rock and jazz, Motown and country, threading these disparate styles together ...

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Ron Miles: Stone / Blossom

Read "Stone / Blossom" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Ron Miles' trumpet has such an appealing tone that I'd eagerly listen to him play the songs of Johnny Cash, Lee Morgan, or Earth, Wind and Fire. His directions in music, like those of his close friend Bill Frisell, have been forged from more than just the jazz canon.

Stone/Blossom is equal parts jazz, 1970s love rock and Americana. The Denver-based artist has graced the bands of Bill Frisell, Matt Wilson, Don Byron, and Denver's well-kept secret, Fred ...

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The Ron Miles Quartet: Laughing Barrel

Read "Laughing Barrel" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The idea for Laughing Barrel, the title of trumpeter Ron Miles' latest CD, comes from the writings of Ralph Ellison, the great African-American author. According to Ellison, an enslaved man, when he had the urge to laugh (strangely forbidden fruit for these poor souls), would put his head in a barrel to muffle the sounds of the soul-soothing treat.

Music then--as it does now--also eased the pains of the soul. Field hollers, spirituals, the blues...jazz. And now the ...

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Ron Miles Quartet: Laughing Barrel

Read "Laughing Barrel" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The concept of jazz has seemingly always been an urban phenomenon. From Louis Armstrong’s move to Chicago to the post-war Charlie Parker revolution--and more recently, Wynton Marsalis’ uptown vs. downtown music debate--jazz concepts and jazz sounds have traditionally gravitated toward cities.

But inside jazz itself, traditions are continuously rewritten. As the music has spread across the non-urban country, sometimes through academia, the metropolitan effect is felt less and the diversity of folk, rock, Latin, Asian, and well, ...

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Ron Miles: Heaven

Read "Heaven" reviewed by Mark Corroto

You would not typically pair a trumpeter and guitarist in a jazz setting. Come to think of it, they aren’t typically paired in any other musical setting. Maybe that’s why these duets by Ron Miles and Bill Frisell are so refreshing.

Heaven is trumpeter Ron Miles’ fourth release as a leader and third collaboration with guitarist Bill Frisell. Miles joined Frisell on his recording Quartet from 1996 and the guitarist sat in on Miles’ 1997 Gramavision outing ...

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Ron Miles: Heaven

Read "Heaven" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

The intimacy of simplicity.

Former Mercer Ellington Orchestra trumpeter Ron Miles joins frequent collaborator Bill Frisell for a spare and beautiful duet outing. Frisell performs mostly on acoustic guitar and very much in a comping, supporting roll. The collection therein consists of equal parts cover tunes and originals. There is a very pastoral or rural tone to Miles' playing. I do not know if I would classify his original compositions as jazz. This music is carefully distilled to a bare ...

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Ron Miles: Heaven

Read "Heaven" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Simply put: Trumpet and guitar. Horn man Ron Miles tries a duet this time out, and he picked his partner well: the high-profile and hugely talented Bill Frisell Heaven is a delicately rendered set of songs, highlighting the strengths of the two players. Ron Miles has a breathy, very lyrical approach to the trumpet; his six originals here have memorable, straightforward melodies that seem to cry out for words.Bill Frisell--whom Miles has worked with--is a perfect ...


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