While there is a plethora of Miles Davis tribute albums out there, this one is interesting for the basic fact that this horn quartet attempts to evoke his spirit without the use of a trumpet. To add spice, they employ African drums, with kalimba and voice. Selim Sivad: The Music of Miles Davis is the fifteenth album by the jazz group the World Saxophone Quartet and their third on the Canadian Justin Time label. The album features performances by Hamiet Bluiett, John Purcell, Oliver Lake and David Murray, with guests Jack DeJohnette, Chief Bey, Okyerema Asante, and Titos Sompa and is dedicated to Miles Davis.
This fascinating release comprises live recordings made at the end of 1956, when Miles accepted an offer to tour Europe with a formation called the Birdland All Stars, which also included Lester Young and the Modern Jazz Quartet, along with European musicians such as pianist René Urtréger, bassist Pierre Michelot and drummer Christian Garros. We have here the one and only existing evidence of Miles playing with Lester Young and with the MJQ. It also presents a rare occasion to find Miles playing as the sole horn in a quartet format.
Of the myriad double-live sets Miles Davis recorded in the early '70s, In Concert: Live at Philharmonic Hall is the only one documenting his On the Corner street-funk period, which is immediately obvious from the cover art. Actually, in terms of repertoire, the material from Get Up With It, Big Fun, and A Tribute to Jack Johnson each takes up a greater percentage of space, but the hard-driving rhythms and plentiful effects make it clear which of Davis' fusion aesthetics applied. In Concert begins to move Davis' live work even farther away from jazz tradition, as he largely forgoes concepts of soloing or space.
Produced with loving care by Claude Nobs, founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival, with no edits or overdubs, this document of Miles Davis's Montreux performances shows through never-before-released material how Miles and company transformed his music live, with their fire, invention, and interplay. The list of sidemen on these dates is a who's who of today's superstars, including saxophonist Dave Liebman, guitarists John Scofield and Robben Ford, keyboardists Adam Holzman and Kei Akagi, bassist Michael Henderson, and percussionist Mtume. Most of the music on these discs features versions of Davis's fusion "hits." The funky and R&B-ish ditty "Ife" and the bouncy "Calypso Frelimo" are rendered with more gusto than their studio versions, as are the in-the-pocket, mid-'80s tunes "Star People" and "New Blues." A package this big has more than a few surprises, however. Chaka Khan lends her powerful pipes to Davis's unique cover of the Michael Jackson sleeper, "Human Nature," and "Al Jarreau" is an upbeat (though too short) tribute to the great vocalise master.
THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA STUDIO RECORDINGS compiles all of Miles Davis' collaborations with composer/arranger Gil Evans. Included are the original and alternate versions of the four albums that Davis and Evans made together–MILES AHEAD, PORGY AND BESS, SKETCHES OF SPAIN and QUIET NIGHTS–as well as various outtakes and unreleased tracks. More than half of the material is previously unreleased. THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA STUDIO RECORDINGS won 1997 Grammy Awards for Best Historical Album, Best Album Notes (by George Avakian, Bob Belden, Bill Kirchner and Phil Schaap), and Best Recording Package - Boxed.