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Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic XII - Sketches of Miles (vinyl)

Theo Croker Quartet

Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic XII - Sketches of Miles (vinyl)

Format: LP 12inch
Label: ACT music
UPC: 0614427994813
Catnr: ACTLP 99481
Release date: 09 September 2022
Buy at PlatoMania
2 LP 12inch
Buy at PlatoMania
 
Label
ACT music
UPC
0614427994813
Catalogue number
ACTLP 99481
Release date
09 September 2022
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN

About the album

Am ong the legends of jazz , Louis Arm strong still stands out as the best known of them all, but Miles Davis also has his unique place: as the greatest genius and innovator the art form has ever known. Born in St. Louis in 1926, the trumpeter was not just an instantly recognizable figure, he was a visionary who repeatedly gave new, decisive impulses to modern jazz, starting in the early 1940s while still in his teens, when he was at the heart of the invention of bebop. Then, in 1949, he countered the heat of bebop with cool jazz. And when the groundbreaking recordings of this period were released on “Birth of the Cool“ as late as 1957, Miles Davis, together with the masterly arranger Gil Evans, was already anticipating the next mini-revolution: modal jazz. Between 1957 and 1959, three epoch-making albums in this idiom were produced in quick succession: “Miles Ahead”, “Milestones” and “Kind of Blue”, the last of which became the most successful jazz album of all time.

At this time, Miles Davis, still in his early 30s, was still to take his art in yet m ore new directions with hard bop, fusion jazz and jazz rock. Davis also had an uncanny and unerring knack for identifying talent. Throughout his career, he consistently brought the very best up-and-coming musicians into his bands, people who frequently went on to become stars in their own right: John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Ron Carter, Keith Jarrett, Joe Zawinul and many more. By the time Miles Davis died in Santa Monica in 1991 at the age of just 65, he had become one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.

Miles Davis performed at the Philharm onie at the first Jazz fest Berlin in 1964, returning there as headliner a total of eight times. In memory of this lasting connection, and also to mark 30 years since Miles’ death, Siggi Loch, curator of the “Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic” series, devised a homage to this musical genius with “Sketches of Miles”. The spirit of Miles Davis was once again in the air on 27 November 2021 at the hallowed hall, where it palpably inspired and energized the participants in this unique concert. The Theo Croker Quartet and members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Magnus Lindgren were clearly stepping into mighty shoes, and yet the tribute they produced to one of the great icons of jazz is constantly dazzling. As is the case for all of the “Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic” concerts, the line-up was a complete one-off. The first part of the programme focused on highlights from recordings by Miles Davis‘ band, whereas in the second, members of the Berlin Philharmonic joined the Theo Croker Quartet on stage to perform three suites from the orchestral albums, “Miles Ahead”, “Porgy and Bess” and “Sketches of Spain”. The arrangements were especially commissioned for the concert.

To take on the role of trum peter in a Miles Davis tribute could be an unnerving experience, but not so for Theo Croker, who is consistently impressive. Born in Florida in 1985, he is now one of the most respected jazz musicians of his generation. The Süddeutsche Zeitung has called him a “visionary of post-hiphop jazz” and praised his “accomplished grasp of the entire history of African-American music.” Croker has many of the Miles Davis hallmarks, and the band behind him is excellent too: pianist Danny Grissett has been in Tom Harrell’s band since 2006 and also released six highly acclaimed albums as leader. Bassist Joshua Ginsburg has been a fixture on the New York jazz scene for almost two decades. Finally, 51-year-old Gregory Hutchinson, “the drummer of his generation” (Jazz Magazine), has played with almost all the greats of jazz.

The mem bers of the Berlin Philharm onic Orchestra, alongside their regular work as the “world’s greatest orchestra”, are always prepared to step into small ensemble combinations and to throw their energies into new musical adventures. Under Magnus Lindgren’s direction, and with the Theo Croker Quartet, we hear a resoundingly “symphonic” Miles Davis. The Swede has developed a speciality of jazzmeets-classical projects. He recently delved into the works of another of the greats of jazz: in “Bird Lives” with the SWR Big Band and John Beasley, he marked the Charlie Parker centenary. Here, in collaboration with his compatriot Hans Ek, best known as the creator of the E.S.T. Symphony, he excelled again in the role of arranger.

“Sketches of Miles” was an evening which will echo and resonate for a long tim e. The Theo Croker Quartet, together with members of the Berlin Philharmonic and Magnus Lindgren didn’t only walk in the footsteps of a genius, they also left their own indelible imprint.

Artist(s)

Magnus Lindgren (conductor)

Magnus Lindgren is a multi-talented creator of music. His ability to express himself on the tenorsax, clarinet or flute wears the sign of a real master. However, he is also able to explore interesting music on several other instruments. Multi is a good expression of this gifted person. As a composer he has a great potential to fulfil his own creative impulses. He dresses them in a melodical costume,  optimal for the stylish frame that is proper for the moment.  Last but certainly not least; the obvious masterclass in the musically versatile arsenal of Magnus Lindgren is his brilliant emotion for arranging music. The greatness lies in the way he puts together the sublime samples of notes, the sound colours, the rhythm figures, the...
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Magnus Lindgren is a multi-talented creator of music. His ability to express himself on the tenorsax, clarinet or flute wears the sign of a real master. However, he is also able to explore interesting music on several other instruments. Multi is a good expression of this gifted person. As a composer he has a great potential to fulfil his own creative impulses. He dresses them in a melodical costume, optimal for the stylish frame that is proper for the moment.

Last but certainly not least; the obvious masterclass in the musically versatile arsenal of Magnus Lindgren is his brilliant emotion for arranging music. The greatness lies in the way he puts together the sublime samples of notes, the sound colours, the rhythm figures, the harmony sequences.

All this in a truly organic way; no risk for overdoing. The final result brings a sence of dewfresh contemporary statement. If you on top of this add the natural gifted Magnus Lindgren´s ability to accommodate the subtle quality from a large range of musical genres; then the comparison with the musical titan Quincy Jones is obvious.

Therefore, it´s not surprising that Quincy is the mentor who Magnus admires the most, along with giants as Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock. In Magnus way of looking at it, those three legends have had the guts to always look further into the universal world of music, even though they already had proven their greatness.

In the same manner Magnus works all the time to extend his musical frames, no matter if he deals with small jazz combos, big bands, choirs with instrumental soloist, intergration between classical orchestra and jazz group, swedish folklore, heavy funk rhythms, brazilian samba or african traditional music. Structures and genres are always given new dimensions, a certain amount of risks are included and the joy to participate is offered to everyone who has the opportunity to experience his enchanting efforts.

When Magnus Lindgren receives well earned honours for his various musicianship he responds with deep confession that his own thoughts on this matter truly is that he has just begun! He claims very prompt that music can vary a lot; the main thing is that it always must be worked out with a solid personality and total honesty.

In his early days, Magnus listened to big band jazz created by Buddy Rich; the melody was Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. With his own words; he was overwhelmed. The first LP he bought was the Michael Jackson album Thriller. It catched him totally. The fact that Quincy Jones had created the intensive dynamic and spectacular varied background for the legendary popicon was a logical summary for the taste of Magnus Lindgren.

All music must come from the bottom of your soul, according to Magnus Lindgren. Therefore, it´s logic that his cd-project from autumn 2013 is called Souls. In a furtile collaboration with the american bassplayer and producer Ira Coleman, Magnus has put together a nice couple of newly written originals. The disc with a certain club feeling and to some degree with old school technology was recorded in New York. The production Souls contents a spectacular group of international musicians, together with vocal artists with star glance. For example the Swedish singers Rigmor Gustafsson, Marie Fredriksson (from Roxette) and Anna Christoffersson. Souls can be considered as a manifest from Magnus Lindgren for his ability to make music with a broad musically spectrum, together with an open hearted attitude.

In Magnus Lindgren´s way of looking at it, the improvisational moment is the centre of the musical universe. The established jazz quartet offers generous possibilities to spread a creative flow. Magnus is steadily returning to that kind of chamber musicial cooperation. He proved it again in the cd-production Four, released 2012. The result gave lots of acclaimed media respons and also a Swedish Grammy nomination. The album Four consists of the world renowned bassplayer Palle Danielsson, the astonishing drummer Jonas Holgersson and Daniel Karlsson respectively Anke Helfrich, two pianoplayers with the ability to give a good back up with sublime expressions. The music is merely Magnus´ own compositions, completed with a colourful version of Michel Jackson´s I Just Can´t Stop Loving You.


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