Friday, October 10, 2008

Miles from India

Last Friday, San Francisco JazzFest kicked off its 26th season with a live performance of the Bob Belden envisioned-project "Miles for India" (it had sold out in the spring run, hence the return engagement) A collaborative reinterpretation of Miles Davis tunes by an all-star cast of American jazz musicians (many who'd played with Davis when he was living) and Classical Indian music masters, the live version of the April 2008 release of the same name was, as I mentioned breifly in a previous post, stunning. You know those moments when you're listening to someone play and it hits you as to the skill level needed to perform such a feat? That happened about every 10 seconds on Friday, with former Davis bandmates Pete Cosey putting out otherworldy guitar solos, while tabla master Badal Roy's fingers flew, and saxmen David Liebman and Rudresh Mahanthappa left our jaws dropping along with the dozen other artists on stage who performed extensive jams. With sitar, vocals, flute and other percussion in the mix, I felt like I was already on the plane east ...since that trip is still a couple of weeks away, I picked up a copy of the 2-disc recording, which was recorded both in India and in the states over an 11-month period, and features the reimagined versions of Davis classics for posterity.

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