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Duos at Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Miles From India's Badal Roy

Fusion became a curse word when Miles Davis recorded Bitches Brew in 1969. The album insulted critics, angered parents and encouraged schoolchildren to try cigarettes and wear headbands–allegedly. Miles offended again in 1972 when he recorded On the Corner, a funk album that combines whistles, bells, hand claps and keyboard smears in a shoulder-shrug dismissal of almost all mainstream musical convention.

Five Miles-alumni and one admirer paid powerful tribute to On the Corner at Yoshi’s in Oakland during two days of high-energy funk and Miles-inspired mayhem. Bassist Michael Henderson led Children on the Corner, a tribute band featuring saxophonist Sonny Fortune, keyboardist Michael Wolff, drummer Ndugu Chancler, percussionist Badal Roy, guitarist Barry Finnerty, complete with the musical rough edges that Miles used to pay musicians not to smooth out. Transitions between solos were less than seamless, but more than appropriate in a funk band that rehearsed only once and holds loose improvisation at the same premium Miles did in 1972.

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