115

Yo Miles! Henry Kaiser and Wadada Leo Smith: Upriver

By

Sign in to view read count
Yo Miles! Henry Kaiser and Wadada Leo Smith: Upriver Upriver , the third double-disc offering from guitarist Henry Kaiser and electrified trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's Yo Miles! project, features the duo and their ever-changing band taking on Miles Davis' most adventurous tunes: "Bitches Brew,"? "Yesterfunk,"? "Black Satin,"? and a medley of other on the corner jams.

The tunes collected on Upriver are hardly covers in any sense; instead, Smith, Kaiser & Co. use Davis' groove-heavy compositions merely as a framework, a starting point from whence they begin their own sonic explorations. More elastic and expansive than the milder fusion bands that followed him, Miles Davis' 1970s output (his "new directions in music"?) provide the perfect palette for the avant garde Smith, the missing link to Kaiser's Yo Miles! project, added in 1998.

Smith says of Yo Miles!, "We think we understand what Miles meant by that music ... we feel strongly that we really touch the core of it, not in note selection, but in terms of certain devices he used in his music, such as tension and contrast."?

In addition to Henry Kaiser's whirling guitars and Smith's electric trumpeting, Yo Miles! features Mike Keneally and Chris Muir on electric guitars; Michael Manring on bass; drummer Steve Smith with Karl Perazzo and Tom Coster handling auxiliary percussion; M-Base member Greg Osby and the powerful John Tchicai on sax; and special guests Zakir Hussain on tabla (gotta have the tabla if you want to sound like Miles circa 1973), guitarist Dave Creamer, and the ROVA Sax Quartet.

For the most part, Yo Miles!' interpretations of Davis' post- In a Silent Way catalog is dead on. While some of the lengthy jam segments leave something to be desired in the way of adventurous, boundary-bending improvisation—the kind of stuff we all know Smith, Osby, and Tchicai to be capable of— Upriver is still a solid reinterpretation of Miles' music. If anything, the group deserves all praises just for having the will, energy and fearlessness to tackle this, some of jazz's most under-appreciated and misunderstood music.

Note: this is a dual-layer CD/SACD hybrid recording.


Track Listing: Disc One: 1. Go Ahead John 2. On the Corner jam 3. What I Say 4. Bitches Brew. Disc Two: 1. Tatu/Agharta Funk 2. Tune in 5/One Phone Call 3. Corrado 4. Macero 5. Yesterfunk 6. Thunder and Lightning 7. Jabali (part III) 8. Black Satin (slight return)

Personnel: Wadada Leo Smith: trumpet; Henry Kaiser, Mike Keneally, Chris Muir: electric guitars; Michael Manring: bass; Steve Smith: drums; Karl Perazzo: percussion; Greg Osby: alto saxophone; John Tchicai: tenor and soprano saxophones; Tom Coster: keyboards. Special guests Zakir Hussain: tabla; Dave Creamer: guitar; ROVA Sax Quartet.

Title: Upriver | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Attic CD/LP/Track Review The Attic
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Outside The Comfort Zone CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017
Read # 1 CD/LP/Track Review # 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Tetrawind CD/LP/Track Review Tetrawind
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Triplicate CD/LP/Track Review Triplicate
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read "Rímur" CD/LP/Track Review Rímur
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 1, 2017
Read "Wish You Were Here" CD/LP/Track Review Wish You Were Here
by Jim Olin
Published: April 3, 2017
Read "Unification" CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "The Fever: The Remastered Epic Recordings" CD/LP/Track Review The Fever: The Remastered Epic Recordings
by Doug Collette
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "Aquarelle" CD/LP/Track Review Aquarelle
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 7, 2017
Read "Greatest Hits" CD/LP/Track Review Greatest Hits
by Doug Collette
Published: November 18, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!