Part tribute and part rejuvenation project, ‘Evolution Of The Groove’ brings Miles Davis, the jazz trumpeter and composer responsible for ‘Bitches Brew,’ ‘Birth of the Cool,’ ‘Kind of Blue’ and many other classics, back to the fore. A precursor to a 6-CD box set ‘Miles Davis: The Complete On The Corner Sessions,’ the ‘Evolution Of The Groove’ remix EP premieres tracks with rapper Nas on vocals and his father Olu Dara on trumpet, Carlos Santana’s guitar mastery, and an A-list contemporary music ensemble of Miles’ nephew Vince Wilburn, Jr. on drums and programming, and bassist Charley Drayton (Rolling Stones, Iggy Pop, Divinyls) with co-production by jazz funk legend Lenny White (Return To Forever).
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This five-song EP draws from five different Miles Davis albums, providing a unique context for his landmark recordings of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s in today’s contemporary marketplace. The EP takes off with a previously unreleased snippet of riffing and studio chatter between Miles and his producer Irving Townshend, during a “Freddie Freeloader” take from the famed “Kind of Blue” sessions. Nas appears on 1966’s “Freedom Jazz Dance (Evolution Of The Groove),” and his verses manage to perfectly compliment Davis’ horn. The centerpiece of the set “It’s About That Time” shines with Carlos Santana on guitar – a satisfying blend of Miles’ music and modern beats. “Honky Tonk” serves up some raw funk, setting up the closer “Black Satin,” from the funk orchestra sessions for “On The Corner.” ‘Evolution Of The Groove’ is an elegant tribute to the legacy of Miles and just one more achievement demonstrating why Miles is a jazz master and still the man for every generation.