JASON MILES/Black Magic: "Bitches Brew" was such a synapse flying album that it was the catalyst for Jason Miles to learn the scales. He returned the favor years later by being such a hip synth player that he melted Miles Davis' mind. That would be enough for most of us to hang our hats on for a career but for Jason Miles it was just the beginning of a road that not only found him having a hand in all the jazz we love but making stops at country, Bjork tributes, guided cancer mediations and everywhere in between proving himself to be a protean hydra that hits them to all fields. Here we find him on one of the rare outings where he puts himself front and center with his Kind of New (get it?) band answering the question of how Miles (Davis) would sound if he didn't have Teo Macero and his razor blade hanging out in the control room. One listen to this and (Jason) Miles will melt your mind. Updating fusion/funk in a most delightful way to keep it hip but be palatable to the masses, this set is a top of the line mammajamma that the rest of us would be satisfied to hang our hats on as a career maker but for him it's probably just a new stop along the way to further greatness. The hippest cat you might never have heard of kicks off the year with the album of the year---and it's only January. Quitey mighty!
ERIK JEKABSON SEXTET III/One Note at a Time: This Bay area trumpeter knows how to lead a crew through some real percolating jazz. Bubbling along with some tasty funk amid the jazz there's an old school vibe laced into the nu school playing that comes at your from all directions at once keeping you delightfully off balance and a little dizzy as you try to keep up and take it all in. Loaded with energy, spirit and chops, this is the kind of stuff major labels should reopen their jazz departments for.
(Wide Hive 349)
Volume 44/Number 65
January 4, 2020
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2020 Midwest Record
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