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148

Ron Miles & Bill Frisell Two's a (Quietly Harmonious) Crowd

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Ron Miles
Some partnerships in jazz go beyond sensitivity or even shared intuition. At their best they can suggest something more mysterious, like weather patterns. When you encounter a bond of this sort between musicians operating at full capacity, the air changes slightly in the room.

The trumpeter Ron Miles and the guitarist Bill Frisell have one of these relationships, stretching back at least a dozen years. Each has appeared on the other's albums, and in 2002 they made a quietly sublime duo record, Heaven. For a few nights last week they also shared a stage at the Jazz Standard, in a flexible quartet under Mr. Miles's direction. On Thursday, closing out the engagement, they confirmed the strength of their rapport.

Both musicians can be counted on to express a spirit of harmonious introspection. The set's opener, “Unconditional," a drifting waltz by Mr. Miles, presented some warm and characteristic beauty, along with a deceptively simple form. Soloing on cornet, Mr. Miles was lyrical and sensible, conjugating his ideas in an easy flow, one phrase at a time. Mr. Frisell accompanied him intently: more than once he landed on an unusual chord at the precise moment that Mr. Miles needed it to bolster a melodic whim.

The quartet's attentive other half created necessary ballast. Though not a regular rhythm team, the bassist Reginald Veal and the drummer Matt Wilson worked sturdily together, bringing a sense of earthy proportion to Mr. Miles's summery compositions. Their most engaging work, though, came on a pair of crisply swinging jazz tunes: “Wig Wise," by Duke Ellington, and “Criss Cross," by Thelonious Monk.

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Ron Miles Events

Date Event Time Tickets
Feb24Wed Joshua Redman: Still Dreaming
Wortham Theater Center
Houston, TX
8:00 PM
$42.50-72.50

Circuit Rider
Circuit Rider
ENJA - Yellowbird
2014
buy
Quiver
Quiver
Enja Records
2012
buy
Stone/Blossom
Stone/Blossom
Sterling Circle
2007
buy
Stone / Blossom
Stone / Blossom
Sterling Circle
2006
buy
Laughing Barrel
Laughing Barrel
Sterling Circle
2003
buy
Heaven
Heaven
Sterling Circle
2002
buy
Wynton Marsalis Wynton Marsalis
trumpet
Eric Dolphy Eric Dolphy
reeds
Bill Frisell Bill Frisell
guitar
Marcus Printup Marcus Printup
trumpet
Dave Douglas Dave Douglas
trumpet
Charles Lloyd Charles Lloyd
saxophone
Kenny Wheeler Kenny Wheeler
trumpet
Paul Motian Paul Motian
drums
Fred Hersch Fred Hersch
piano

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