One of the more innovative and satisfying artists of his time is producer, arranger and keyboardist Jason Miles. As a musician, he has fine-tuned his craft with such notable talents as Gato Barbieri and Luther Vandross. In addition, Jason has also ramroded musical tributes to Weather Report, Ivan Lins and Grover Washington, Jr.. On the CD entitled 'A Love Affair: The Music of Ivan Lins,' a track labeled "She Walks This Earth (Soborana Rosa)" featuring Sting won a Grammy for Best Pop Male Vocal. In 2001, Jason pulled together some of the finest musicians around today to produce 'To Grover With Love,' a fitting memorial to one of the most innovative saxophonists of the 20th century. During the first half of 2004, Jason released an album entitled 'Maximum Grooves Coast To Coast' for Telarc Jazz, which received rave reviews across the overall jazzscape. Of all the things Jason Miles has done, one aspect of his career as a musician has reverberated in his mind from the onset_the opportunity to work with one of the prophets of the modern day jazz diocese, Mr. Miles Dewey Davis. During the recording of 'TUTU' in 1986, bassist Marcus Miller recruited Jason to assist in one of Davis' lasting endeavors. In Jason's mind: "Davis was and is more than a musician; he is an icon, a spirit whose singular influence continues to loom large over the world of jazz." The impact of that chance encounter with Miles Davis has led to the release of another one of Jason's milestone projects entitled 'Miles To Miles' on the Narada Jazz Label.
From the title, this latest Jason Miles effort would seem to be a Miles Davis tribute; believe it or not, this is definitely not the case. This is more of a musical journey that highlights the personality of Miles Davis. 'Miles To Miles' is a reflection of Davis' penchant for the unusual, as he "took his sound to the next level" of perfection. This was seen with the recording of 'TUTU' in 1986 and 'Doo-Bop' in 1991. On Jason's latest album, there are twelve tracks of electronically fused, melodically intriguing and carefully crafted grooves. This CD attempts to capture Miles Davis' enthusiasm for fast cars, love of sweets, flair for fancy clothes and his mood at various intervals of his career. To assist Jason Miles in this endeavor, listen for P-Funk keyboardist Bernie Worrell, saxophonist Gerald Albright, guitarist Marc Antoine, pianist Keiko Matsui, as well as trumpeters Tom Harrell and Nicholas Payton. Jason even went another further by employing the skills of Maria de Barros, The Brecker Brothers and bassist Me'Shell Ndge'Ochello to make 'Miles To Miles' compelling and true to the spirit of Miles Davis.
Each and every track associated with Jason's most dynamic release to date is filled with nuances of Miles. Listen for "Ferrari," a track closely attuned to Davis' reflection of a high speed cruise he took along the Pacific coast highway. With saxophonist Michael Brecker at the helm, the tune has a funk-oriented melodically revealing air of excitement attached. Throughout and later on in the CD, Jason Miles strategically utilizes the talents of his guest musicians to capture the essence of the phenomenal icon known as Miles Davis. There are subtleties of the Latin induced "Flamenco Sketches" from 'Kind of Blue,' the sweet cravings of "Butter Pecan," which delves into Miles' desire for butter pecan ice cream, even though it was not good for him health wise, as well as the many attitudes Davis' evoked during his journey towards excellence. In my mind, very few artists have captured the personality of Miles Davis as well as Jason Miles. In this particular setting, Jason has stepped up to the table with an incredible array of sincere personifications.
Although Miles Dewey Davis passed away in 1991, his many contributions to jazz and the arts will live on in prosperity. Furthermore, if individuals such as Jason Miles continue to pay true-to-life homage to legendary figures such as Davis, a whole new generation of jazz connoisseurs will come to know America's only original art form as a cornucopia of human experiences.