Miles … from India, a two-CD set on Times Square Records co-produced by Bob Belden and Louiz Banks, recasts familiar themes from such landmark Miles Davis recordings as Bitches Brew, In a Silent Way and Kind of Blue with an East Meets West sensibility. The project involves two dozen musicians from the United States and India-among them many alumni of Davis’ bands-recording in studios around the world. includes such Miles classics as “All Blues,” “Spanish Key,” “So What,” “It’s About That Time” and “Jean Pierre.”
Sitar and tablas, ghatam and khanjira, mridangam and Carnatic violin blend seamlessly with muted trumpet and saxophones, screaming electric guitar and grooving electric bass lines, piano, upright bass and drums on this fusion of Indian classical and American jazz. Recorded in Mumbai and Madras, India and New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, the music on Miles … From India was performed by classical and jazz musicians from India with the addition of musicians who have recorded or performed with Miles Davis over the span of five decades. The set is scheduled for an April 15 release.
The Miles alumni included on the sessions are saxophonists Dave Liebman (1972-74) and Gary Bartz (1970-71), guitarists Mike Stern (1981-84), Pete Cosey (1973-76) and John McLaughlin (1969-72), bassists Ron Carter (1963-69), Michael Henderson (1970-76), Marcus Miller (1981-1984), Benny Rietveld (1987-91), keyboardists Chick Corea (1968-72), Adam Holzman (1985-87) and Robert Irving III (1980-88), drummers Jimmy Cobb (1968-63), Leon “Ndugu” Chancler (1971), Lenny White (1969) and Vince Wilburn (1981, 1984-1987) and tabla player Badal Roy (1972-3). The Indian contingent is represented by keyboardist Louiz Banks, drummer Gino Banks, American-born alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, sitarist Ravi Chari, Vikku Vinayakram (a charter member of Shakti) on ghatam, V. Selvaganesh (a member of Shakti and Remember Shakti) on khanjira, U. Shrinivas (from Remember Shakti) on electric mandolin, Brij Narain on sarod, Dilshad Khan on sarangi, Sridhar Parthasarathy on mridangam, Ranjit Barot on drums, Taufiq Qureshi and A. Sivamani on percussion, Kala Ramnath on Carnatic violin, Rakesh Chaurasia on flute and Shankar Mahadevan and Sikkil Gurucharan on Indian classical vocals.
Live concerts featuring the music from the album are scheduled for New York and San Francisco, with more to come. Among the artists performing at these first two dates are Ron Carter, Lenny White, Wallace Roney, Pete Cosey, Badal Roy, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Louiz Banks, Benny Reitveld and more. Scheduled shows are as follows:
May 9: Town Hall, 123 W, 43rd St., New York, NY-8pm. Tickets: $40-$45.
May 31: SF Jazz Festival, The Palace of the Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon St., San Francisco, CA-8pm. Tickets: $25/$30/$36/premium $56. Box Office: 415-567-6642 or go to SFJazz.