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Laughing Barrel

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Album Review

On his previous release for the Sterling Circle label, trumpeter and composer Ron Miles collaborated with guitarist Bill Frisell to make an album whose relationship to jazz was fairly tangential — the music inhabited some nether region along the borders of jazz, country, and folk, and not only because the program included arrangements of songs by Bob Dylan and Hank Williams along with the Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk tunes. Now leading a quartet that includes bassist Anthony Cox, guitarist Brandon Ross, and drummer Rudy Royston, and playing a set consisting entirely of original compositions, Miles still seems to be exploring that strange shadowland of American music. His melodies are attractive but not always immediately accessible; on "Parade" the composition marches gently forward, but "Psychedelic Black Man" and the aptly titled "Still Small Voice" are more abstract and contemplative. "Sunday Best," the album's shortest piece, is also its most tightly organized, and it has a definite country feel. Everyone plays brilliantly, but Ross, with his seemingly bottomless bag of sonic tricks and always tasteful application of them, is especially noteworthy. Highly recommended.

Top Albums and Songs by The Ron Miles Quartet

Laughing Barrel, The Ron Miles Quartet
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 24 March 2003

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