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Nephew of jazz legend Wes Montgomery releases challenging new album and gritty super-hero novel

Published: 2012-02-22
Miko Montgomery He has the family name of a legend, but while his uncle's legacy is not lost on him, Miko Montgomery is carving his own unique path. The nephew of the late Wes Montgomery
Wes Montgomery
Wes Montgomery
1925 - 1968
guitar
, he is similarly on jazz's cutting edge. His latest album, Cryptic Roots, finds itself on the genre's fringes, incorporating electronica, New Age, Goth, and folk music with the wild, wide-eyed vision of his keyboards. Equally influenced by synthetic pulse of Yellow Magic Orchestra, the funk kicks of James Brown
James Brown
James Brown
1933 - 2006
vocalist
, and the edgy innovations of Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
1917 - 1982
piano
, Montgomery wallops barriers as his imagination rockets into jazz's outer limits.

The first cut on the record, “Kiss of the Damned," could be viewed as a warning or as bait depending on how adventurous the listener is. While the track is not as gloomy as its title suggests, it is a ghostly number. Montgomery wrote the piece for a vampire flick that he wanted to produce himself. It is certainly spooky enough for a Halloween soundtrack, but it is also playful in its dance with the dark. Beyond that, Montgomery never stops exploring; there is an inquisitive mind at work here, one that is focused on experimentation. “AfroCeltic" is among Montgomery's oddest yet accessible hybrids, a dynamite collision of Irish folk music and jazz fusion.

In addition to his album, Montgomery has also written and self-published a novel, Raven Diablo: Agent of Kali. The book stars a super-heroine who has no qualms about killing evildoers. Set in Las Vegas, Montgomery combines the shadowy grit of Batman's most hardcore adventures with the ominous pull of horror fiction.


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