Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Man and His Horn, Pt. 2

It’s been a theme explored quite frequently in the history of jazz: the acknowledgement and celebration of the musicians who came before them by established artists. Call it homage. Call it tribute. Call it giving props to those who served as inspiration and guidance. The jazz musician is called upon to walk a tightrope between the past and the future. Each generation is called upon to look forward while building on what came before.

There are musicians who, at some point in their development, focus their attention on individual artists who played central roles in these musicians’ creative evolution. Think Dave Douglas doing Mary Lou Williams, Misha Mengelberg doing Thelonious Monk, Jazz Composers Collective doing Herbie Nichols, Tim Berne doing Julius Hemphill…or Enrico Rava and Paolo Fresu doing Miles Davis.

The concert here is a tribute to Miles Davis led by the trumpeters Enrico Rava and Paolo Fresu. It is in support of a recording on the Label Bleu label called Enrico Rava Quintet Plays Miles Davis. The CD was recorded live at the Montreal International Jazz Festival twelve days earlier than this concert (which was recorded at the Umbria Jazz festival) in 2001. It is an excellent CD and is wholeheartedly recommended. There are three common compositions – “When Lights Are Low”, Bye Bye Blackbird”, and “Milestones” – between the two performances, along with the same lineup in the quintet, providing lots of opportunity for comparison. Search the CD out if you like what you hear here.

Here’s the relevant information:

Enrico Rava,tp,fh
Paolo Fresu,tp,fh
Stefano Bollani,p
Enzo Pietropaoli,b
Roberto Gatto,dr

1 Announcement ER / If I Were A Bell 12:54
2 Round Midnight 12:42
3 When Lights Are Low 13:50
4 Milestones / Announcement ER 15:33
5 Bye Bye Blackbird 12:18


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