Each year, the SFJAZZ Collective – the ensemble of star performers and composers regarded as some of the finest in the world of jazz today – pays tribute to the works of a modern jazz master. Previously – in a series of performances which also includes a selection of the Collective’s own compositions – they have honored Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Horace Silver, Stevie Wonder, and Chick Corea. This season, the featured artist is the legendary trumpeter and bandleader, Miles Davis.
In a four-day residency at the SFJAZZ Center this week, the Collective will perform new arrangements of eight of Davis’ works, and eight of their own new pieces. What makes this series even more exciting is that each performance will be recorded for the new, limited edition, 2-disc SFJAZZ Collective album to be released in Spring 2017 – and available exclusively through SFJAZZ.
The award-winning Collective was launched by SFJAZZ in 2004, the result of discussions between the founder and executive director of SFJAZZ, Randall Kline, and saxonophist Joshua Redman, founding member of the Collective. Kline and Redman shared a desire to showcase the progression of jazz from the days of the ‘Golden Age’ to the style of the current generation of composers and performers. “The Collective demonstrates,” says All About Jazz, “that decades-old music needn’t lose its contemporary relevance — not, at least, in the hands of a group this encyclopedic in its knowledge of tradition, but just as versed in the foundation of jazz as a living, breathing and forward-reaching thing.”
Since the launch of the Collective, the ensemble hasn’t looked back, having established itself as one of the most acclaimed and exciting groups on the jazz scene, with what’s described as an “innovative approach to repertoire” (SFJAZZ).
The current line-up comprises alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, tenor saxophonist David Sánchez, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, trumpeter Sean Jones, trombonist Robin Eubanks, pianist Edward Simon, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Obed Calvaire.
This international and multi-cultural group – hailing from locations such as Ohio, Baltimore, Miami, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and New Zealand – continue to delight their enthusiastic fan-base with a style which portrays jazz as constantly evolving and decidedly modern. As The New York Times puts it: “You can propose various definitions for what this band represents, but it’s a superbrain for what serious jazz sounds like now.”
The SFJAZZ Collective plays the music of Miles Davis and their own original compositions from October 20 to 23 at the SFJAZZ Center. For more information and tickets, visit www.sfjazz.org.