SFJAZZ ‘Fridays at Five’ celebrates the music of Miles Davis

‘Miles from India’ poster – courtesy SFJAZZ

Fridays at Five sessions during the month of May are all dedicated to a celebration of the music of Miles Davis – American trumpeter, bandleader and composer, who is regarded as one of the most influential and acclaimed figures of 20th century music and the history of jazz.

Miles from India is the title of the May 7th Fridays at Five transmission. It takes its name from the 2008 album which was the brainchild of the late jazz producer/arranger Bob Belden and Yusuf Gandhi – owner of the Times Square label – following the Indian instrumentation used on Davis’ 1972 album On the Corner. As a tribute to Bob Belden, an ensemble made up of Davis’ nephew and drummer Vince Wilburn, the late drumming icon Ndugu Chancler, bassist Daryl Jones, saxophonist Javon Jackson, khanjira virtuoso V Selvaganesh, and guitarist Rez Abbasi joined forces to present a selection of pieces from the Davis songbook. Ranging from Kind of Blue to Bitches Brew, these numbers were performed in concert at SFJAZZ in May 2018.

Robert Glasper appears in the May 14th tribute to Miles Davis. Under the title Everything’s Beautiful it features music from Glasper’s re-interpretation of Davis’ compositions of the same name, which originated in his score to Don Cheadle’s 2015 film Miles Ahead. Grammy-winning pianist, composer and exponent of acoustic jazz, hip-hop and contemporary R&B, Glasper has been described by Interview as “Intelligent, creative, and incredibly impassioned ….. the ideal flag-bearer for the new jazz era.” He appears with his ensemble – bassist Burniss Travis, drummer Justin Tyson and guitarist Mike Severson – who are joined by R&B star and Grammy-winner Bilal on vocals, in this Fridays at Five session filmed at SFJAZZ in May 2018.

This transmission is sponsored by Blue Note at Sea, which is working toward a revival sailing in 2023, hosted by Glasper and Marcus Miller, alongside dozens of the world’s best contemporary jazz musicians.

Flamenco Sketches is the title of the May 21st Fridays at Five session, and stars pianist Chano Domínguez whose speciality is jazz in the flamenco style. Domínguez hails from Cádiz – regarded as the birthplace of flamenco – and it’s there that he not only took his initial inspiration from artists such as Bill Evans, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, but where he also developed his particular skill in combining jazz with flamenco. Chano Domínguez’s tribute to Davis – in which he’s accompanied by bassist Alexis Cuadrado, drummer Henry Cole, flamenco singer Blas Córdoba and dancer Daniel Navarro – includes fresh arrangements of So What, All Blues, and Freddie the Freeloader, all of which can be heard on his 2012 Grammy-nominated album Flamenco Sketches, released on the Blue Note label. This performance was filmed at SFJAZZ in May 2018.

The Miles Electric Band features in the Fridays at Five session on May 28th. Fronted by former SFJAZZ Collective trumpeter Sean Jones, this multi-generational band specialized in the music Davis created from the late 1960s to the ‘80s on albums including Bitches Brew and You’re Under Arrest. The Miles Electric Band – filmed in June 2016 – is led by drummer Vincent Wilburn Jr – a nephew of Miles Davis – and features some of the musicians whom Davis selected as collaborators for his jazz-rock ensembles. These include guitarist DeWayne “Blackbird” McKnight, keyboardist Robert Irving III, bassist Darryl Jones and percussionist Munyungo Jackson who toured and recorded with Davis in the late 80s and 90s. Other artists making up the group are saxophonist Antoine Roney, keyboardist Greg Spero, percussionists Abbos Kosimov and Debashish Chaudhuri, and electronic musician Jeremy Ellis.

Fridays at Five is a weekly membership-based online concert series that enables jazz enthusiasts to continue to enjoy SFJAZZ performances, while providing support for the artists concerned, through exclusive hour-long broadcasts of SFJAZZ Center archival performances every Friday at 5.00 pm (PT). Conceived to create a unique shared experience, each event features multi-camera HD video and state-of-the-art audio, as well as real-time chats with artists, jazz fans, and SFJAZZ Members.

There’s good news for those who are in the UK, Europe and Africa – these Fridays at Five sessions are now also streaming on the day following transmission, at 10.00 am PT – which is 1.00 pm NYC, 6.00 pm London, 7.00 pm Paris and 7.00 pm Johannesburg . Please note that this rebroadcast does not include a real-time chat.

For further details on the SFJAZZ Fridays at Five streams, visit the SFJAZZ website. for further details.

Information sourced from:

SFJAZZ program notes

Artists’ websites

ArtsPreview home page

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