Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Chris Kelsey & What I Say: The Electric Miles Project

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

On The Electric Miles Project, saxophonist Chris Kelsey and his What I Say quintet approach Miles Davis’ fusion work in terms of layers. It’s an unusual tack, but given the methods of construction Davis used, a valid and probably long overdue one. The resultant album provides real insight into the fusion pioneer’s inventions-and the musicians’ thrill at taking them for a spin.

They dig deep into some of the strata: “Agharta Prelude” unearths, via Kelsey’s soprano, the tune’s main melodic motif (present on Davis’ Agharta but buried in its murky textures). In other places they add new content: On “Directions,” Joe Gallant replaces the short, passive bass riff Miles employed with the slippery, kinetic one he threaded through side two of On the Corner, and guitarists Rolf Sturm and Jack DeSalvo inject a buzzing maelstrom into the mix. Not incidentally, Sturm and DeSalvo are separated throughout the album into the left and right stereo channels, respectively, allowing them to function as separate layers as well.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published