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

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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, 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, and the edgy innovations of Thelonious Monk, 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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