Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith makes a fascinating Miles Davis stand-in. A player of a different generation and temperament, Smith embraced free improvisation and modern composition, musical idioms somewhat removed from Davis’ music. Smith nevertheless developed a searing, minimal style that, however distant, echoes Davis’ unmistakable playing. Six years ago, Smith teamed with producer and guitarist Henry Kaiser to record the noteworthy Yo Miles!, a modern take on Davis’ dense early-’70s music. Not willing to let this project fade, Kaiser and Smith recalibrated the band for a second, long, double-disc recording, Sky Garden.
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