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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke

A Tribute to Miles

ESP2

TDK Jazz Club DV-JESP2




Crotchet

 

  1. Opening Medley (one phone call, street scenes, that’s what happened)
  2. Desiree’s Desire
  3. Donna Lee – Davis
  4. The Man with the Horn
  5. Ambrosia
  6. Blue’n Green
  7. No News is Good News

Robert Irving III – Keyboards & Piano
Adam Holzman – Keyboards
David McMurray – Saxophones & Vocals
Randy Hall – Guitar & Vocals
Mino Cinelu – Percussion & Vocals
Victor Bailey – Bass
Ricky Wellman – Drums
Carla Cook – Vocal on The Man with the Horn

In Miles’s later years he toured with a young rock influenced band. Opinions are sharply divided on the quality of music they played, but they certainly weren’t ignored and Miles no doubt made money from the experience by widening his audience. His introverted style hardly fitted these flamboyant rockers, but that’s jazz!

In 1994 ESP2 was formed to play a tribute tour to Miles featuring his compositions and this DVD comes from a live performance at Stuttgart Jazz Open in the same year.

The band has obviously worked together before and is nicely balanced, Robert Irving III on Keyboards and David McMurray on Saxes are excellent and the drumming of Rickie Wellman drives everything along. Victor Bailey’s nice clean bass lines add to the musical experience.

I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy this DVD, but the jazz content outweighs the rock content and the electronics don’t over power everything. Mino Cinelu’s use of various percussion instruments brings variety to the backings and increases the excitement.

Donna Lee is quite different from the Charlie Parker version, but inventive nevertheless and David McMurray gets round a difficult melody with ease. Why Carla Cook gets a billing for her contribution to The Man With a Horn, I don’t know. Mino Onelu performs the major vocal part; perhaps she was featured in another session during the concert.

Ambrosia reminds us of Miles last tour and Blue and Green kicks in with some excellent Keyboard work from Adam Holzman.

It could be of course that his young rock inspired band learned a great deal about jazz from Miles Davies, this is a good performance.

Don Mather



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