Jason Miles has assembled an all-star team of musicians - operating as a session supergroup called Maximum Grooves - to explore the organic, improvisational potential of groove-based contemporary jazz in Coast to Coast
The 12 tracks of this new release are built around the rhythm sections of Miles, drummers Steve Ferrone and Gene Lake, and bassists Will Lee and James Genus. Spicing up the grooves set up by these threesomes are several high-powered players hailing from one end of the country to the other.
Most of the songs are Miles’ originals, penned in collaboration with several of the artists who perform on this recording.
"I wanted to concentrate on the rhythm section and make sure that was together," Miles says in a press release, "and then get the people who were great soloists to collaborate with me on melodies, to make sure those were equally as strong as the rhythm section."
The genesis of Coast to Coast dates all the way back to 1974, when Miles first saw keyboardist Don Grolnick and his band - a lineup that included Joe Beck, David Sanborn, Will Lee and Steve Gadd - at Mikells, the fabled New York club at 97th and Columbus.
"I never forgot that night," says Miles, who remember’s Grolnick’s Cactus
as a high point of the performance. "It had that special groove that I later realized as all New York City."
After Grolnick’s death in 1996, Miles felt that the best way to honor him was to record Cactus
, the song that introduced Miles to a lot of New York players. The track was the starting point for Coast to Coast
, a recording that employs contemporary technology to expand on Miles’ initial affinity for the New York sound of the 1970s.
The result is a classic sounding recording that has a progressive edge as a team of top-level players finds the pocket and dig in for maximum impact.
None of the songs are exceptionally long, with most tracks around the 4 ½-minute mark. Krazy Eyez
is a respectable 5:42, with C’est La Vie