This blog will feature an update on the forthcoming OKeh releases and my personal review of Miles Ahead – the movie. Finally I had a chance to see the film and did enjoy it – as the music won over the images by a clear count. I am not sure what the film wants to be – a film about Miles Davis or an action movie with Miles Davis in it, but in the end that doesn’t really matter – the movie is truly enjoyable, the character Miles Davis is there with all his dark and self-destructive sides and the light of his music. Whether the representation of his personality is correct or not, only people who knew him can really answer. Is the story of the stolen tape really necessary to show what person Miles was? I don’t think so and I had the feeling that the story took over the movie at one point and forgot about Miles, but then there are scenes that are drawing you into the music making, as the one with Gil Evans, and they make up for all the rest. The great music is mostly from Davis’ catalogue and some from Robert Glasper and at the end from a cool live concert with Don Cheadle that featured among others Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Robert Glasper and Esperanza Spalding. In general the movie is well acted and with the flashbacks to earlier times works well in terms of narrative and therefore keeps you engaged in the story. A bit too much sometimes and I am sure Miles’ life had enough bad, good and crazy moments to make a captivating film from, but overall I would recommend it.
Just a quick review on forthcoming OKeh releases for the second half of 2016: first out at the end of August will be the new album by The Bad Plus IT’S HARD – and it will be hard not to love this incredible album of cover versions from the likes of Prince, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Peter Gabriel, Cyndi Lauper, Kraftwerk, Ornette Coleman and others. This will be supported by a massive tour in Europe – worth checking out indeed!!!
German trumpet star Till Brönner is releasing his first OKeh/Masterworks album in early September and is making us enjoy The Good Life by performing and singing some of the world’s best known standards and a few originals – sublime and perfect music for the quiet hours we all need. Recorded with Larry Goldings, Anthony Wilson, John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton – a beauty!
Nils Petter Molvaer’s new opus entitled BOYANCY will be released on September 9th and is a fantastic and powerful group effort highlighting the intense musical partnership his band has achieved, as well as the beautiful and lyrical play by Nils Petter. On tour in the fall in Europe as well – go and hear them!
Dhafer Youssef, the great Tunisian singer and oud player, will release his second OKeh album in September as well, featuring a great band of young US talent – Aaron Parks on piano, Ben Williams on bass, Mark Giuliana on drums and on a few tracks Ambrose Akinmusire on trumpet. DIWAN OF BEAUTY & ODD is a record of amazing and powerful, groovy compositions, delicate and touching ballads and some outstanding music performances and of course angelic chants by Dhafer himself. European tour to start after the release and will be going far into 2017. A must!
There’s more, but about that I will report another time …. I am truly honored and happy being involved in all these incredible projects.