Artist: Gerry Gibbs and the Electric Thrasher Orchestra
CD Title: Play the music of Miles Davis 1967-1975
Record Label: Whaling City Sound
Musicians: Gerry Gibbs
(drums), Brian Swartz (trumpet), Doug Webb (saxophone, clarinet), Rob
Hardt (clarinet, flute), Andy Langham (synthesizer), Mike Hoffman
(electric guitar), Brandon Rivas (electric bass), Essiet Okon Essiet
(acoustic bass), Gabriel Herrera (vocals), Dwight Trible (vocals),
Felicia Chery, Nelson Chery, Chrissauna Chery (percussion)
Review: If I have to describe this
CD in one word, that word would be "intensity". Drummer Gerry Gibbs and his
friends do an amazing job capturing the intensity of Miles Davis music.
This is a double CD full of energy and good music.
It is not an easy task to play Miles Davis music, no matter what period of his long career you prefer. Gerry Gibbs chose the years of 1967
-1975. This period in Miles career was his transition from classic Jazz
to fusion Jazz.
For those not familiar with Miles career, he started playing in the
years of Be Bop with Charlie Parker, later he was one of the creators of
the cool jazz style. In the 60's he play hard bop and at the end of the
60's, beginning of the 70's, he was one of the first to mix jazz with
rock, creating a new style called fusion jazz.
On this album you will
find some of the classic Miles from this period, like Directions,
Bitches Brew, In a Silent Way, Pinocchio and Nefertiti. But what Gerry
and these great musicians did here is not a exact copy of Miles music,
it is more like a tribute. You are going to recognized the melodies and
rhythms of Miles band but you will find new improvisations and
interpretations of these classics.
Being a Miles tribute, obviously the trumpet is one of the highlights
and Brian Swartz does a nice job on trumpet, playing great solos with a
similar tone to Miles Davis. But every musician on this album play hard
and keep the energy level up, with powerful guitar improvisations by
Mike Hoffman on Double Image and Miles runs from the Voodoo. Melodic sax
solos by Doug Webb on Bitches Brew, Masqualero and In a Silent Way.
Cool sound effects and solos by Andy Langham on keyboards and the vocals
improvisations are simply wonderful.
But the heroes are
definitely the rhythm section, Gerry Gibbs on drums and the bass
players, Brandon Rivas and Essiet Okon Essiet, playing with the fire
required on tracks like Masqualero, Pinnochio and Travere and keeping
the funky groove on tracks like Black Satin and Right Off. On his CD
notes, Gerry wrote that after the recording session he took a five hours
car ride listening to the music they just recorded. Actually that is
not a bad idea, this album is perfect for a long car ride.
I will not join the discussion on what is and what is not jazz. If you
are one of those who thinks Jazz evolution and history stopped in the
60's, maybe this album is not for you. But if you like good music, no
matter the jazz style, you are going to enjoy this one.
Tracks: Directions, Double
Image/Gemini, Masqualero, Little Church, Bitches Brew, improv. #1, Bass
and percussion improv #1, Nefertiti, Black Satin, Miles Runs The Voodoo
Down, Lonely Fire, Travere (take 1), What I Say/The Theme, Vocal improv,
In a Silent Way, In Concert, Right Off, bass and percussion improv #2,
Pinocchio, Sanctuary, Nem um tal vez, Calypso Freelimo, Travere take 2,
Inamorata, Directions Take 2, The Theme
Record Label Website: http://www.whalingcitysound.com