Miles Davis—That’s What Happened 1982-1985 The Bootleg Series Volume #7 (Columbia/Legacy) is a three-disc package with plenty of brilliant unreleased material. Studio gems left off Star People, Decoy and You’re Under Arrest plus a live disc from Montreal are all so satisfying. His solos are, in a word, stunning. The funk that overtook his bop had fully flowered. His tone was fully restored.
The packaging is exquisite what with printed interviews with his band mates. Tracks like the 13:06 “Santana” with guitarist Mike Stern, bassist Marcus Miller, drummer Al Foster and others positively seethe with anger. The three versions of “Celestial Blues” are completely different from each other and feature JJ Johnson on trombone. The two versions of “Freaky Deaky” have John Scofield on guitar and Darryl Jones on bass. From Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” to hits from Tina Turner (“What’s Love Got To Do With It”) and Michael Jackson (“Human Nature”)—just a few years before his untimely demise in ’91 at 65—will ring your bell.
Rich In Symbols II (Justin Time Records), by Chet Doxas, is his second exploration of transcending the visual majesty of seven famous paintings. The first foray in 2018 beautifully melded paintings and music. This one goes even further in encapsulating the essence of seven different paintings in sound. (No small feat!). This Brooklyn saxophonist/clarinetist/composer, born in Canada, has, for instance, incredibly brought to life the painting known as “Snow Clouds” which shows in sound the “ancientness of the topography.” Approximating the “immense size and gravitas of a `Tree Trunk’” may sound esoteric enough to ignore but this quintet has the dexterity to make sounds bloom enough to imagine his inspirations. (Live, the paintings themselves are an integral part of his presentation.) “North Shore” is simultaneously in two different keys. “The Frost Of Winter” attempts to convey “the powerful stillness” of Montreal after fall. His four bandmates—on piano, Mellotron, pedal steel, banjo, guitar, bass and drums—are the stars who come out at night to make this thing come alive.
What a band! The Andy Adamson Quintet—Ross Huff, trumpet/flugelhorn; Dan Bennett, sax; Brennan Andes, bass; Jonathan Taylor, drums and keyboardist/composer/arranger/producer Andy Adamson—goes wild for most of A Coincidence Of Cats (Andros Records LLC). That is, when they’re not getting all Monk Mysterioso or choogling along happy-like. This Michigan machine is informed by the multitude of genres they’ve collectively participated in over the last few decades, thus their circuitous route to each musical destination is fraught with sudden left-turns and delightful bumps in the road.
The Montreux Years of Chick Corea is lovingly curated on BMG’s restoration of eight brilliant performances. Chick won 23 Grammy Awards and played the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland 23 times over the course of his legendary six-decade career wherein he helped shape the course of modern jazz, dipping into flamenco, classical, world-folk strains and progressive rock along the way. “Fingerprintz” (2001), “Bud Powell” (2010), “Quartet #2” (1988), “Interlude” (2004), “Who’s Inside The Piano” (1993), “Dignity” (2001), “America” (2006) and “New Waltz” (1993) show Chick in acoustic and electric settings with trios, quartets and orchestral settings. He shines bright each and every time.