Miles Davis: A celebration of the music of Miles Davis: produced by Bob Belden

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COMPOSERS: Miles Davis
LABELS: Times Square Records
ALBUM TITLE: Miles from India
WORKS: A celebration of the music of Miles Davis: produced by Bob Belden
PERFORMER: Gary Bartz (saxophone), John McLaughlin (guitar), Chick Corea (piano), Ron Carter (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums) with 15 of India’s leading musicians
CATALOGUE NO: TSQCD 1808

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This extraordinary album could easily have been a triumph of technology over content. The idea was to bring 17 Miles Davis alumni together with 15 of India’s top classical players to reinterpret themes from classic albums such as Bitches Brew and Kind Of Blue. Producer Bob Belden arranged for the Indian contingent to lay down their tracks first, in Mumbai and Madras. Later, in the US, he pulled in the Americans’ parts by using the internet – intercontinental jazz fusion without the CO2 footprint. The result is an extension of the groove-based, electric jazz the mephistophelian horn player developed later in his career. Indian strings are seared by wailing electric guitar; blue piano lines are spiced by Indian percussion. It’s fitting that the only commissioned piece is by fusionist John McLaughlin, a favourite Davis sidemen. In a word, transcendental. Garry Booth