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Showing posts from December, 2013

Joe Henderson: So Near So Far, Musings For Miles, with John Scofield

Believe it or not, the first Joe Henderson album I ever heard was this album, So Near, So Far, a tribute to Miles Davis.

The album was released in 1993 on the Verve label. In my opinion one of the best jazz albums of the 90's, and it works extremely well.

One thing about tribute albums, they can suffer from the copycat syndrome. Sometimes an artist is so faithful to the original, that you often times think: "Why didn't I just put the original on in the first place?"

Musings for Miles never plays like a mimic at all, it always feels like its own album. Yes, these are Davis compositions for the most part, but Joe doesn't play them like a carbon copy of the Davis studio versions.

 Joe has brought in underrated "is that possible" guitarist John Scofield for an unusual piano-less quartet that has Scofield nearly stealing the show.

Scofield has an unusual sound that really speaks to me, a guitar tone that's blue/green tinted, yet has a rock edge to it. H…

The Late Bob Belden's Miles From India: A Fitting Tribute to Miles Davis

The late saxophonist arranger Bob Belden really out did himself on this release from 2008 Miles From India. He assembled many former Miles Davis side men for a reworking of many of the Davis classic compositions.

 Drawing on both the Classic modal era and the electric era, but totally reworking them with an East Indian motif. Sitar and tabla, and even some vocals in the authentic Indian tradition highlight the album.

The music is an absolute marvel, it could have been a disaster, it so perfectly melds Jazz with Indian influences.

Many of the tunes are very unpredictable, Using only a rough sketch from the original composition, a bass line or melody for instance. One thing I really got a kick out of was Trumpeter Wallace Roney playing some very unpredictable solos, many times a solo that would be better suited for a classic Kind of Blue tune is used on one of the electric period numbers.

 They cleverly meld the two styles together through out the album, This happens on "Miles Run…