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.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Live at PafA" CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Book II" CD/LP/Track Review Book II
by John Sharpe
Published: March 27, 2016
Read "Presidential Suite (Eight Variations on Freedom)" CD/LP/Track Review Presidential Suite (Eight Variations on Freedom)
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 25, 2016
Read "Streams" CD/LP/Track Review Streams
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 17, 2016
Read "The Edge of Visibility" CD/LP/Track Review The Edge of Visibility
by Jim Olin
Published: April 1, 2016
Read "Broken Artist" CD/LP/Track Review Broken Artist
by James Nadal
Published: June 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!