Ron Miles : Laughing Barrel

CD [Cover Art for Ron Miles / Laughing Barrel] Your Price: $22.23
Availability: In Stock
Sell date: 8/2012
Label: CD Baby
Mfg's Catalog#: 5637455
CDC Part#: 814297
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 Notes & Reviews
TRUMPETER/ COMPOSER RON MILES RELEASES QUARTET CD LAUGHING BARREL ON MARCH 25, 2003 Ron Miles talks about the music on Laughing Barrel.... A serene, reverential glow passes over Ginger Baker's weathered countenance when the rhythmic catalyst of the renowned electric blues trio Cream discusses his musical director and chief soloist, trumpeter Ron Miles. 'Ron Miles is a gentle genius, a quiet and unassuming man who becomes a giant when he plays his horn-he's been a pleasure to know and a joy to work with.' 'Ron has his own sound,' enthuses long time collaborator, Bill Frisell, who features Miles prominently in his working ensembles (and on such acclaimed Nonesuch recordings as 1996's Quartet, and the 2001 release Blues Dream), and teamed with Ron for an intimate series of lyric duets on the trumpeter's first Sterling Circle recital, Heaven. 'He knows the history, but he's not a copycat,' the guitar innovator observes. 'He can play anything but he always sounds like Ron Miles.' With his warm, richly nuanced sound, a broad pallet of sweet and sassy brass articulations, an exploratory harmonic sensibility and a provocative rhythmic approach, Ron Miles is every inch the musical giant and musical collaborator Ginger Baker makes him out to be. Yet for many listeners outside the Denver area, Ron Miles is still something of an unknown quality. This leads one to wonder why cutting edge musicians like Baker, Frisell and clarinetist Don Byron hold Ron Miles is such high esteem? It is because for this gifted trumpeter-composer, jazz is a state of mind, a matter of conviction-a design for living-deeply rooted in the sundry traditions that make up our common musical heritage-what Duke Ellington characterized as black, brown and beige. Jazz, as represented by Ron Miles and his new band on his second Sterling Circle release Laughing Barrel, does not necessarily signify any one style of music, but rather a great tent, where he and his exciting new band (guitarist Brandon Ross, bassist Anthony Cox and drummer Rudy Royston) are defining a distinctive contemporary approach to compositional long forms and song forms-animated by their very personal strain of collective improvisation. And while Miles' warm, burnished tone and the trumpet-guitar-bass-drums instrumentation he employs throughout Laughing Barrel recalls the classic Art Farmer Quartet of Live at The Half Note (with Jim Hall, Steve Swallow and Walter Perkins), Ron's new quartet is not defined by their hard boy lineage. Because while the music they fashion on Laughing Barrel is clearly rooted in the African-American experience, it reflects a variety of influences besides swing and bop: everything from the blues of Jimi Hendrix and Robert Johnson, to roots gospel and country sources. Lyrical and song-like by turns, Laughing Barrel nevertheless bristles with supple harmonic touches, bold textural strokes and the kind of ever shifting poly-metric canvas that has long distinguished Ron Miles' rhythmic conception on his critically acclaimed outings as a leader-Distance For Safety (Eye Witness, 1986), Witness (Capri, 1990), My Cruel Heart (Gramavision, 1996), Woman's Day (Gramavision, 1997) and Ron Miles Trio (Capri, 1999)-and throughout his breakout performances with Baker and Frisell. 'With Coward of the County, Ginger was such a powerful rhythmic force that we needed a collection of pieces to showcase his considerable talents as a drummer, soloist, accompanist and spontaneous orchestrator,' Ron explains, by way of illustrating his own evolution as a writer and soloist. 'And if my own playing seems particularly intense on that album, well, that's because Ginger was back there kicking our butts,' he laughs. 'You can't help but stretch out when a great drummer like Ginger keeps upping the intensity and inspiring you to go for broke.' 'In fact,' Stephen Thomas Erlewine writes in his All-Music Guide review of this 1999 Atlantic Jazz release, 'it's a testimony to Baker's skills as a leader that he never dominates, preferring to let all the parts weave together to create a full, rich sound. And

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