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Ron Miles: Woman’s Day

The genre is ensemble-oriented lyrical free jazz or semi-free jazz. Trumpeter Miles intimates (but does not directly mimic) the other trumpeter Miles but with a drier and more understated approach. Miles’ compositions-all 12 of them-run together in your mind. You are left with an aura more than discrete melodic distinctions. The rhythms range from surreal rubato to groovy funk.

We’re accustomed to more dramatic blowing in such contexts. It’s harder for Miles to sustain interest without shouting. This is a criticism: a lot of this album sounds the same. Without getting ambivalent, it should also be said that the music sounds personal, an admirable, stand-alone quality today.

The inimitable twangy, subtle, eerie, quietly dissonant, stop-and-go guitar of Bill Frisell adds color to the performances. Artie Moore (bass) and Rudy Royston (drums) accompany beautifully without intruding on the organic flow. Todd Ayers (guitar), Kent McLagen (bass), Mark Harris (bass clarinet) and Eric Gunnison (piano) appear on certain tracks, but their presence is felt more than trumpeted.

Originally Published