Monday, September 10, 2007


Ron Carter
Dear Miles,
Blue Note Records

There have been a lot of tribute albums made honoring the music of jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. Some that I enjoyed thoroughly such as saxophonist Joe Henderson’s “So Near, So Far (Musing of Miles)” and trumpeter Eddie Henderson’s “So What”. Other tribute records I didn’t care for because the session leaders thought the best way to honor Davis was to emulate his style. To me, the only person that could do Miles convincingly was Miles, period. It took Miles years to become as cool as he was.

Who better to make a tribute album for Miles than bassist Ron Carter, an alumnus of Miles’ second generation band? The album is simply titled “Dear Miles,”. Carter selected songs that were part of Davis’ report ire. There’s some great straight from the hip playing on this ten track offering, especially the playing of pianist Stephen Scott. In fact, this album could’ve been a showcase for Scott, who’s perhaps one of the most under celebrated pianist in jazz. I’ve been following him off and on for years, and fell in love with him all over again when I heard him on saxophonist Sonny Rollin’s live date “ Without A Song: The 9/11 Concert”. Scott zips through the chord changes on “Cut and Paste” and “Bags Groove”.

As for Carter, throughout “Dear Miles,” he is gentlemanly, and content with laying in the cut not making a fuss, keeping time exquisitely. “Dear Miles,” is the kind of sharp jazz albums that too many jazz musicians don’t have the patience to make anymore. Carter was smart not to try to emulate Davis way of doing things. The late trumpeter would’ve loved this album.
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