Kind of New - European Tour 2018
Brooklyn-born Miles plays with a pop-steeped precision that creates maximum impact with a minimum of fuss. His credits range from Michael Jackson and Aretha Franklin to David Sanborn and Marcus Miller. And it was his mastery of keyboard timbre and rhythm that underpinned such 1980s Miles Davis classics as Tutu and Amandla.
At this gig, he adapted his studio craftsmanship to free-flowing small-group jazz loosely inspired by the first electric bands that Miles Davis took on the road in the early 1970s. Tightly argued themes delivered sparse riffs, declamatory shouts and broody sustained brass harmonies. The experienced Reggie Washington on bass and Gene Lake on drums acted as one while Miles established mood and pulse with a single touch.
But with trumpeter Theo Croker delivering spiky solos in a bold and brassy tone and multi-instrumentalist Jay Rodriguez playing with an edge that bordered on the avant-garde, “Kind of New” avoided imitation and lived up to its title. […]
The body of the evening, though, consisted of long funky jams that delivered sudden bursts of energy and the ebb-and-flow detail of a band taking music out on a limb. Here, Miles probed new directions with a simple change of key and signposted form with a sparse melody, resonant chord or barely perceptible nod of the head. Rodriguez delivered whoops, scale fragments and fluent lines on soprano sax, bass clarinet and flute and a long unaccompanied passage on breathy tenor sax. Croker riffed and spiralled into the upper register. The evening peaked with a rumble-and-thunder drum solo that snapped and shimmied around the kit.
Mike Hobart, The Financial Times (London)
“A concert rich in ideas, definitely a fresh wind of tradition and future at the same time.”
Alessandro Galano e Samuele Romano, Jazzit.it