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Umo Jazz Orchestra: Electrifying Miles

Hands down, UMO is a world class musical aggregation, a tribute to all the locations in the jazz tradition it explores, and a voice with its own flexible orchestral distinction. Thank Heikki Sarmanto’s continuing astute guidance that urged on UMO many years back. Electrifying Miles, from April 1997, possesses the spirit of Miles’s post-mid sixties stylings as they might have been scored by Gil Evans. Eight selections range from the simplest addition of an electric keyboard to the later effects of the wah-wah trumpet. Ohio-born Tim Hagans delivers classy work; it’s nearly impossible not to project Miles’ synthesized sounds without thinking of his innovative manipulations and coyly shy solos. Hagans, sensitive throughout to the responsibility, gives “On the Corner” treatment to “Spanish Key,” a performance around whose guitar-bass clarinet texture Jarmo Savolainen paints a fetching arrangement and for which conductor Eero Koivistoinen takes out his tenor.

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