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Miles to Miles by Miles Jason

Nearly twenty years ago, Jason Miles collaborated on Miles Davis’ "Tutu" by playing synthesizer. He hasn’t forgotten that experience. He claims that his new album, "Miles to Miles," is not a backward-looking, tribute album, but that his music is "real, it’s now, and it’s dangerous."

Indeed, there are similarities between the two albums. In 1986, "Tutu" was a controversial album in Davis’s last music phase that continued his venture into uncertain waters mixing hard bop with overdubbed rock and roll rhythms to give it a hard-driven funk rage. "Miles to Miles," four presidential administrations hence, does essentially the same thing, but this time the synthetic sounds are like frayed polyester threads.

Miles’s new album feels neither controversial nor particularly dangerous. At best, "Tutu" gave you a streetwise sense of strutting down a brokedown New York City. "Miles to Miles" feels like wandering along Disneyfied 42nd Street in your blazing blue bellbottoms amongst the one-armed cell phone robots, while gazing at the billboards screaming ghetto wear.

To be fair, "Tutu" has been considered for critical reassessment. "Miles to Miles" may, to some, reargue that contention of cultural viability. However, to others, overdubbing of jazz should be delegated to the dustbins of musical history.

"Miles to Miles" features luminaries like Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, DJ Logic, Keiko Matsui, Me’shell Ndgeocello, Nichols Payton, Tom Harrell and Cyro Bapista. The individual performances are stellar. And some of the arrangements have promise, especially in the one Miles Davis composition, ‘Flamenco Sketches.’ But, even here, while this is an interesting version, it is absolutely no match for the original on the immortal "Kind of Blue."

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Miles Jason
  • CD Title: Miles to Miles
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Narada Jazz
  • Tracks: Ferrari, Butter Pecan, Guerilla Jazz, King of the Bling, Bikini, Love Code, Flamenco Sketches Intro, Flamingo Sketches, Voices on the Corner, Street Vibe, Suba, New Worlds
  • Musicians: Jason Miles (keyboards, drum and percussion programming, synth bass), Michael Brecker (soprano saxophone, Rhodes melody, synth bass), Randy Brecker (trumpet), Tom Harrell (trumpet), Gerald Albright (alto saxophone), Adam Holtzman (solo synthesizer),Barry Danielian (trumpet), DJ Logic (turntables), Gary Greenberg (drum programming), Sherrod Barnes (guitar), James Genus (bass), Gene Lake (drums), Bob Berg (tenor saxophone), Me’shell Ndgeocello (bass), Dean Brown (guitar), Karsh Kale (tablas), Ronny Drayton (guitar), Carter Beauford (drums), David Sanchez (tenor saxophone), Nichols Payton (trumpet), James Genus (bass), Cyro Bapista (percussion), Aaron Heicke (alto saxophone), Marc Antoine (guitar), Keiko Matsui (piano), Bernie Worrell (keyboards), Marc Quinones (percussion), Pamela Driggs, Maria de Barros, Cassandra Reed, Ada Rovattis, Chude Mondlane Louisa Lumbambo& Romero Lumbambo (vocals)
  • Rating: Two Stars
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