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Miles To Go

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Album Review

Being jazzy and actually being jazz are two different things. James Moody, McCoy Tyner, and Sonny Rollins are hardcore jazz musicians; Sting, Anita Baker, Erykah Badu, and Sade are jazzy but aren't actually jazz. And just as Sting brings jazz overtones to pop/rock and Badu represents the jazzier side of neo-soul, Billy Paul Williams shows how nicely jazz influences can work in an electronica setting. Anyone who describes Miles to Go as hardcore jazz is being misleading; jazz is improvisatory music, whereas electronica is producers' music that is largely (or entirely) programmed rather than played — and this 2003 release falls into the latter category. But that doesn't mean that someone like Williams can't use jazz elements to his creative advantage, which is exactly what the keyboardist/guitarist/producer does on sleek downtempo/chillout offerings like "Desert Moon" and the Brazilian-influenced "A Walk in the Park." Presumably, the title Miles to Go is a double entendre that refers to miles as in distance and Miles as in jazz trumpeter Miles Davis — and in fact, the title track finds guest trumpeter Jason Carder being influenced by Davis as well as Don Cherry (another important jazz trumpeter). Throughout this 74-minute CD, it is evident that Williams epitomizes the softer, gentler side of electronica. The term electronica is incredibly far-reaching; it can refer to anything from the harshest, most abrasive, and rave-friendly techno to the smoothest downtempo and chillout — and clearly, Miles to Go is an example of the latter. Plenty of downtempo and chillout releases flooded the market in the early 2000s; 2003's Miles to Go is among the more memorable.


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

Not to be confused with either Philadelphia soul singer Billy Paul (best known for his 1971 smash "Me & Mrs. Jones" or ‘70s soft rocker Paul Williams, Billy Paul Williams is a producer, composer, musician, mixmaster, and vocalist who has focused on different styles of electronica and dance music in the 21st century. Williams, who now lives in the trendy South Beach area of Miami, is best known for his 2002 club hit "Sex" (which made it to number one on Billboard's Hot Dance Tracks chart and was especially...
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Miles To Go, Billy Paul Williams
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