Take a step into the past with these eight tracks from contemporary jazz releases that came out in the year 1989! Listen to classics from the Rippingtons, Miles Davis, and Hiroshima. Also, who put the meat in my bed?! It’s the second mix I’ve published on 8tracks. If you like this blast from the past, check out my 1988 mix with David Sanborn, David Benoit, Spyro Gyra, Tom Grant, Kim Pensyl, and Al Jarreau.
Kenny Garrett – Sketches of MD: Live At The Iridium. “I wanted to document the band I took on the road for Beyond the Wall while we were working with Pharoah and also write some new songs,” says Kenny of this new recording which features Pharoah Sanders. “The idea of doing the Miles-related songs just evolved.”
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Amazing! There have been a number of Miles Davis tribute recordings released over the years, covering various periods of his storied career; both with and without alumni of his numerous bands and configurations. I’m pretty sure that I own most of them but this one, organized and led by producer Bob Belden, covering songs from Miles’ controversial first forays into fusion via electricity, is just amazing. If you can get your head around the opening track, “Spanish Key” from Bitches Brew with tabla, soaring flute and konnakol (Indian vocalization), then you’ll be in for a sub-continental treat. Belden and the musicians he’s assembled – American, Indian and alumni of Davis’ bands – take 12 songs, all but one of which are associated with Davis, and interpret them as if Miles donned a Nehru Jacket. Traditional Western instrumentation meets Indian ideals; complementing sitar, electric mandolin, flute, tabla, konnakol and a whole host of Indian drums and percussion are; Dave Liebman and Gary Bartz on sax, Mike Stern, John McLaughlin and Pete Cosey on guitar, Marcus Miller, Ron Carter, Michael Henderson and Benny Rietveld on bass, Chick Corea, Adam Holzman and Robert Irving III on keys, Ndugu, Lenny White, Vince Wilburn and Badal Roy on drums – all alumni, complemented by the great Wallace Roney on trumpet. To hear “All Blues” open with sitar or “So What” open with konnakol is both amazing and liberating at the same time. If you’re a fan of Miles, especially his early electric and later periods, you’re going to be blown away by this recording. I haven’t been able to stop listening to this recording since I downloaded it. Call me star-struck, but this just might be the best release I’ve heard thus far in 2008. I haven’t been this taken aback since Alan Pasqua’s The Antisocial Club.
JL: Marcus, first of all, thank you for taking the time to speak with me this afternoon about your latest recording, Marcus. How do you decide when it’s time to enter the studio to record a new project?
MM: Well, for me, because I’ve got so many things going on, the way I decide to start a new one is when I’m finished with the last one. It takes me so long to finish a project because I’m doing movies, I’m all over the world, on the road, so I really have to start early, and it takes me about a year to put it all together.