Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

93

Yo Miles! Henry Kaiser and Wadada Leo Smith: Upriver

Rex  Butters By

Sign in to view read count
Wadada Leo Smith and Henry Kaiser's Yo Miles! band completes a trilogy with the release of Up River, their latest double-disc dive into the exotic and sensual world of Miles Davis's first electric period, circa 1969-75. Once again they take some of the fiercest and most revolutionary music of the 20th Century and manage to reimagine it while remaining faithful to the earth-rending originals. And, speaking of originals, as with the past collections, they go beyond tribute band status to compose new works that uncannily match the menace and majesty of the originals.

First heard on Big Fun, "Go Ahead John pulses and throbs with Steve Smith's hot coal-walking interplay with percussionist Karl Parazzo. Languid, out of time guitar chord cricket chirp distortion pans through the channels, buoying Smith's poetically economical reading. Electric Prunes fuzztone guitar slashes the groove, yanking, shuddering, and wailing. Greg Osby follows suit with a wild run, then the band slows it down and Smith smolders the blues. Osby takes it uptown, with Michael Manring prowling on bass.

Osby and Zakir Hussain on tabla create a beautiful duet to open the "On the Corner Jam, then the crunch and burn kick in. Hussain and Perazzo throw skins at each other and Osby duets with a spidery Kaiser. Smith breathes with Hussein to end it. "What I Say (from Live-Evil) unleashes Manring and Coster, the latter fast and fluid. Smith blows jagged electric trumpet through the steaming ensemble, and Kaiser and Coster mess around.

Tatu/Agharta Funk opens disc two with headlong drive, and John Tchicai struts the tenor, preceding Smith and Kaiser's hardcore duo. Osby owns "Tune In 5/One Phone Call, a potent rave. He also fronts "Corrado, a lurching rarity unreleased until recently. The atmospheric original jam "Macero quickly gives way to the measured meditation of "Yesterfunk.

Smith's stunning "Thunder and Lightning follows, with an orchestral sound in hyperfunk. Tchicai quickly makes it something special, with Osby contributing interstellar R&B. The ROVA Saxophone Quartet fattens the riff of "Black Satin (Slight Return) (from On the Corner). David Creamer contributes fast-fingered guitar and Coster flies on organ.

Beautifully recorded as an SACD hybrid, these tracks were performed live in the studio, as opposed to the cut and paste job many of the these tracks received on Davis' original versions. If only these guys could bring this music on tour...


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 Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Child in Me CD/LP/Track Review The Child in Me
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Way Home CD/LP/Track Review The Way Home
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read "Double Mirror" CD/LP/Track Review Double Mirror
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 8, 2017
Read "Hoping Against Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Hoping Against Hope
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 19, 2017
Read "Strykin’ Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Strykin’ Ahead
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 30, 2017
Read "Hourglass" CD/LP/Track Review Hourglass
by Paul Rauch
Published: May 18, 2017
Read "Chronosome" CD/LP/Track Review Chronosome
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Expedition" CD/LP/Track Review Expedition
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 4, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor