StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: SFJAZZ Collective plays Miles Davis


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This week, it's time to check out some videos of the latest iteration of the SFJAZZ Collective, who will be here in St. Louis to perform starting next Wednesday, April 26 through Saturday, April 29 at Jazz at the Bistro.

Founded in 2004 as a sort of ever-evolving, all-star house band for the San Francisco presenter SFJAZZ, the group's lineup by design has changed considerably over the years, and currently features Miguel Zenón (alto sax), David Sánchez (tenor sax), Sean Jones (trumpet), Robin Eubanks (trombone), Warren Wolf (vibraphone), Edward Simon (piano), Matt Penman (bass), and Obed Calvaire (drums).

Each year, the members come together to record an album, with each contributing two arrangements—one original, the other re-imagining a work from a specific composer chosen as the season's focal point.

That repertoire then serves as the basis for a subsequent tour, and when last seen here in St. Louis in March 2016 at the Bistro, the SFJAZZ Collective was playing the music of pop icon Michael Jackson. This year's featured composer is a lot closer to home for St. Louis listeners, since it's none other than the legendary trumpeter Miles Davis, who was born in Alton, grew up in East St. Louis, and played some of his first gigs here in St. Louis.

Recorded live in performances on October 20-23, 2016 at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, the Collective's latest two-disc album features new arrangements of works composed by and associated with Davis, plus the new original compositions by members of the group.

To show how the project has evolved, today's collection of videos offers a look at SFJAZZ Collective both before and after the recording of their Miles Davis album, starting up top with a brief promotional clip featuring quotes about Davis from several of the musicians.

After the jump, you can see them performing “Milestones" as part of an event last May at the SFJAZZ Center revealing Davis as this season's featured composer.

Next, you can see and hear three selections, starting with “So What," from a show the Collective did on the corporate campus of YouTube just a week before making the album.

That's followed by a playlist assembling a full show recorded in Milan, Italy two weeks later, after the album was recorded.

For more about the SFJAZZ Collective's take on Miles Davis, you can read a review of the show at which album was recorded from's David Becker, and check out some of the advance press for the album and tour featuring quotes from Obed Calvaire, Matt Penman, and Miguel Zenon.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.

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