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Miles 2 Go

Mark Ledford

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Album Review

It took sessionman/singer/producer/jingle-writer Ledford two years to put together his first record as a leader, and although the eclectic results betray the patchwork recording schedule, it is an absorbing, at times exciting debut. Miles Davis is the unifying element; most of the selections are Miles chestnuts and standards that he made his own, and Ledford's moody, muted trumpet could be reminiscent of no one else. Ledford grafts acid-jazz hip-hop beats onto the tunes — the treatments fit remarkably well on the natural medley of "So What" and John Coltrane's "Impressions," the swinging "Freedom Jazz Dance" and even "Blue On Green" — adds lyrics to some, and often captures a surprising amount of his touchstone's introspective ambience. One can easily imagine Miles doing exactly the same thing had he lived further into the '90s (his last record, Doo Bop, and his fond looks backwards in the last months of his life attest to that). Ledford also brackets the Miles repertoire with R&B-style originals like "Way I Feel" and "U Gotta Be Crazy;" the former has a repetitive dance beat and a Bobby McFerrin-inspired vocal conclusion. Among the musicians turning leftward into acid-jazz country with Ledford are drummers Jeff "Tain" Watts and Lenny White, bassists Victor Bailey and the Rolling Stones' Darryl "The Munch" Jones (a Miles alum), tenor Michael Brecker, and Ledford's now-and-then employer Pat Metheny. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi


Born: 1960

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

A shaved-head jack of many trades, veteran of many sessions, comfortable in genres all over the ballpark, Mark Ledford found the time to release his belated solo debut only in 1998 with a percolating update of Miles Davis for the acid-jazz generation, Miles 2 Go. As a trumpeter, Ledford follows the Miles muted line; his singing draws upon Jon Hendricks and Bobby McFerrin-style vocalese and scat, and Ledford also plays guitar and drums. Ledford was raised in Detroit, where he started on the violin...
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Miles 2 Go, Mark Ledford
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