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Miles from India (TWO CD SET)
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Vinyl, Box set, Limited Edition, November 25, 2008
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with jazz legend Miles Davis, producer-archivist Bob
Belden, renowned for his Grammy Award-winning
reissue work on a series of Miles Davis boxed sets for
Sony/Columbia, along with co-arranger Louiz Banks
(celebrated keyboardist from India), has recast familiar
themes from such landmark recordings as Bitches
Brew, In A Silent Way, and Kind of Blue with an East
Meets West sensibility on Miles...From India. An
incredibly ambitious project involving two dozen
musicians from two separate continents recording in
studios around the world, Miles...From India is a cross-cultural summit meeting that puts a provocative pan-global spin on 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 profound 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
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 (1958-63), 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, Taufiq Qureshi and A. Sivamani on percussion, Kala Ramnath on Carnatic
violin, Rakesh Chaurasia on flute and Shankar Mahadevan & Sikkil Gurucharan on Indian classical vocals.
Top Customer Reviews
The songs selection and arrangements could not be better. The chanting voices on Spanish Key fit in beautifully with the cacophony of sounds. The sitar playing on All Blues will make you think that Miles wrote the song for a sitar player. The frenetic tablas and percussion meld perfectly with the class bass line in So What. This is the clear front runner for jazz album of the year in 2008. When all is said and done, this might be one of the best jazz fusion albums ever.
This set - placing Miles in a World Music context - is sweeping in scoop and breathtaking in sound. The project was overseen by producer Bob Belden and co-arranged by Louiz Banks, who also performed on keyboards.
Utilizing classical and jazz artists from India and musicians who mostly performed with Miles during his "electric" years, the 12 numbers - which include In a Spanish Key, Silent Way, Jean Pierre and Miles Runs the Voodoo Down - are powerfully presented on an illuminated landscape that subtly changes with each listening.
But it's the title track - composed, produced and performed by guitarist John McLaughlin with U. Shrinivas on electric mandolin, Louiz Banks on piano and Sikkil Gurucharan on vocals - that merges the sketches of excellence of the past with the brilliance of the present.
The project is not just a tribute to the genius of Miles, but an absolute gem in the art of making modern music.
Others have complained that the project suffers from the segregation of its recording, with separate sessions in India and the US (reducing the carbon footprint of its production), with the music only combined in production, thereby depriving the musicians from the dynamic intersubjectivity of shared being. This too I will partially concede. Again however, I will defend this project by noting just how successful the dynamic integration of component parts has generally been. And after all, so much of this era of Miles' music was a cut and paste job by Teo Macero anyway.
In recent years we have been treated to Bill Laswell's Panthalassa project and its dance remixes, to Henry Kaiser and Leo Wadada Smith's Yo Miles! project (producing three wonderful CDs), and to the potent live performances on the Children on The Corner album. Miles From India represents another worthy addition to a body of work that so warrants celebration through reinterpretation. Whether these projects try to innovate or replicate, I'm still happy to hear alternative versions of so many tracks that I love so much. Great stuff.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was quite excited to hear this album...but it was a bit of a dissapoinment, becouse I feel no expression through its music. It lacks something...its too noisy... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Juan Mariatti
This is a very unique take on Miles Davis. If you like "Sufi" like singing, Sitar and Tabla this is the double CD for you!Published 16 months ago by Macforlife
The songs are something out of a soundtrack kind of sound. I like most of it..there are parts that I want to skip,.... Read morePublished 24 months ago by GAL ON THE GO
This record is one of the best recordings of the music of Miles Davis other than his own. It has the originality, the grooves, the adventure, and the beauty of his best work. Read morePublished on May 9, 2014 by Brian Miller
Miles Davis steered jazz in several directions during his unparalleled career as a trumpet player, song writer, and band leader. Read morePublished on December 24, 2013 by Douglas Groothuis
Those who can "hear" jazz are fortunate, indeed blessed - so many unfortunate souls cannot - and do not know they cannot. Read morePublished on December 20, 2012 by SimonGWin
Miles From India, Times Square Records (2007)
Recorded in Chennai, India between November 2006 and July 2007 this work we owe thanks to Bob Belden for making this... Read more
Been a Miles Davis fan for over 50 years. This is one of the only covers of Davis that I have heard which actually adds something fresh and does not make things worse. Bravo.Published on November 19, 2012 by John Sibert