A consistently innovative musician, Davis made some of the most celebrated recordings in jazz. For the celebration, trumpeter Eddie Henderson will lead a sextet, featuring Davis' original drummer Jimmy Cobb from Davis' classic early sixties group. They will be joined by tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, pianist Dave Kikoski, bassist Eddie Howard and alto saxophonist Steve Wilson.
The Miles Davis tribute group is winding up a nationwide tour, with stops to come in California at Pepperdine University, May 7 and 8; Santa Barbara Education Workshop , May 9 and 10; Napa Valley Opera House, May 11; Lancaster Performing Arts Center, May 12. The tour ends with an appearance at Atwood Concert Hall, in Anchorage Alaska.
Whether they had the privilege of playing alongside the legend or were influenced by his brilliance from afar, the members of this ensemble project the complexity and soulfulness of Davis’ long and remarkable career.
Leader Henderson received worldwide recognition for playing with Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi group in the 1970s. A medical doctor with a degree from Howard University, he has played with such jazz greats as McCoy Tyner, Art Blakely and Dexter Gordon.
Largely self-taught, drummer Cobb handled the drum chair during the sessions for "Kind of Blue," Miles Davis’ classic album. Among the artists Cobb has played engagements with are Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday and Pearl Bailey. In 1958, Cobb joined the Miles Davis group, where he remained until 1963. He accompanied singer Sarah Vaughan throughout the 1970s, but lately Cobb has been playing with his own band, Cobb’s Mob.
Tenor saxophonist Escoffrey has his own quartet and quintet, which he fronts when he’s not playing with Ben Riley’s Monk Legacy Quartet, The Charles Mingus Big Band, Abdullah Ibrahim’s Akaya, The Carolyn Leonhart Group as well as Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Music of the Masters. Pianist Kikoske has played as a sideman on more than two dozen albums, and has six under his own name. The New Jersey native studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston with the likes of Branford Marsalis and Terri Lyne Carrington, while soprano saxophonist Wilson has been noted as a "musician’s musician." His talent has been seen on more than 90 recordings with such greats as Chick Corea, Dianne Reeves and Mulgrew Miller.
Bassist Howard appears on more than 50 recordings and currently plays with five groups, including the Stryker/Slagle Band and the Eddie Henderson Quartet. Howard has played with some of the best in the business, including Shirley Horn, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Billy Hart.
The set for the Music of Miles Davis will be selected from Davis’ repertoire, including "On Green Dolphin Street," "‘Round About Midnight," "Someday My Prince Will Come," "Blue in Green," "So What," "Old Folks," "All Blues," "Masqualero," "Freedom Jazz Dance," "Prince of Darkness," Footprints," "If I Were a Bell" and "Gingerbread Boy."
Tickets for the May 5, 6 concerts are available at The Orange County Performing Arts Center box office for the 7:30 and 9:30 p.m shows both nights. Call (714) 556-2787 or online at www.ocpac.org.