New York, NY - The night of May 12, 2002 may have just become another important milestone on the timeline of legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. Four musicians, each representing a different Miles Davis band from his ever-evolving career, came together at the club Makor in New York City to do what everybody said couldn’t be done: to effectively fuse together elements of the radically different styles that Miles Davis embodied over his 45 years of professional performance. But after witnessing the masterful skills of drummer Jimmy Cobb, tenor saxophonist George Coleman, bassist Ron Carter and guitarist Mike Stern, it is clear they almost immediately established the kind of chemistry that pays tribute to every facet of Miles Davis’ lifetime of work. Four contrasting approaches to the jazz combo; four different perspectives on the improviser’s art; one live set in New York City- this is the 4 Generations of Miles- a live tribute to Miles Davis.
On this live recording, we sought to bring together the different styles of the four musicians with Miles’ best-loved songs as the platform. The set starts out with “There Is No Greater Love” from The New Miles Davis Quintet of 1955, and finishes with the duo “If I Were a Bell” and “Oleo”, songs from the acclaimed Relaxin’ with Miles album. Stalwarts “All Blues”, “Blue In Green” and “Freddie Freeloader” seemed to be mandatory from the influential album Kind of Blue. And Ron Carter certified his song “81” from E.S.P., one of Miles’ favorites, to round out the middle section. These are the songs that Miles loved, and each member within this group of four musicians succeeded in representing their respective style amidst the diverse musical background of Miles Davis.
The curriculum vitae of this group is exhausting including soirees with jazz giants Rollins, Monk, Adderly, and of course Miles. Drummer Jimmy Cobb played with Miles Davis from 1958 to 1962 including collaborating on such projects as Sketches of Spain, Porgy and Bess, and Miles in Stockholm 1960. Saxophonist George Coleman was invited to play by Miles from 1963 to 1964 performing both live and in the studio producing several notable recordings including the acclaimed My Funny Valentine. Bassist Ron Carter worked with Miles from 1963 until 1968, participating in such works as Miles Smiles, Scorcerer and In A Silent Way. Rounding out the quartet is guitarist Mike Stern who flanked Miles in his resurgence in the early 80s and is heard on Man With The Horn, We Want Miles and Star People. These four extraordinary musicians came to the stage with their individual history, style and approach to Miles Davis’ art form. The result is a recording that truly pays tribute to this legendary artist.
4 Generations of Miles evokes the spirit of Miles Davis with Chesky Records’ signature 96 kHZ/24-bit recording technology, presenting unprecedented clarity to the illuminating arrangements with which these four musicians have delighted us.