Jazz CD Reviews

Gerry Gibbs and the Electric Thrasher Orchestra – Play the Music of Miles Davis 1967-1975 – Whaling City Sound (2 discs)

This isn’t a “run of the mill” two-CD set of Miles Davis covers.

Published on November 9, 2010

Gerry Gibbs and the Electric Thrasher Orchestra – Play the Music of Miles Davis 1967-1975 – Whaling City Sound (2 discs)

Gerry Gibbs and the Electric Thrasher Orchestra – Play the Music of Miles Davis 1967-1975 – Whaling City Sound WCS 047 (2 CDs), 1:05 & 1:05 [Distri. by Allegro]  ****:

(Gerry Gibbs – drums, quicka drum, voice on Little Church & Nem Um Talvez, conga drums, balifon, slit drum, wood flute & vocal drums; Brian Swartz – trumpet & electric trumpet; Doug Webb – soprano saxophone & bass clarinet; Rob Hardt – bass clarinet, flute, alto flute & piccolo; Andy Langham – Fender Rhodes & mini-Moog synthesizer; Mike Hoffman – electric guitar; “Big Tastee” Brandon Rivas – electric bass; Essiet Okon Essiet – acoustic bass; “Brother” Gabriel Herrera – voices & spoken words on Little Church; Dwight Trible – spoken words & vocals on Innamorata; Felicia, Nelson & Chrissauna Chery – gongs, African bells, chimes, rain stick & whispers)

This isn’t a “run of the mill”  two-CD set of Miles Davis covers.  Gerry Gibbs and the Electric Thrasher Orchestra produce a new way of hearing Miles.  The journey starts with Directions, a fast paced trumpet lead Davis classic that at times sounds like there is no direction until a solo reins the listener back in.   Bitches Brew’s 7 minutes is as splendid a cover of that I’ve ever heard.  The thrashing guitar and free-form movements of the percussion section easily take the listener back to the late 1960s, in Davis’ prime.

Getting back to the big band style of jazz that Miles touched on in the late ‘60s, Gibbs leads the orchestra through a great rendition of Nefertiti.  Other favorites are Sanctuary Nem Um Talvez and Inamorata; all on the second CD.  It’s clear to me that Gibbs is the forerunner of Miles Davis tribute artists.

What makes this album so special and so different from all other Miles Davis cover albums is the passion that Gerry Gibbs proves he has for Miles and the music he gave us – a career with over 20 years of Miles Davis obsession and tribute.  

The packaging of the album is also exceptional.  A longtime Miles artistic collaborator, Jo Gelbard, created original artwork for the project.  

TrackList

CD 1:
1. Directions
2. Double Image / Gemini
3. Masqualero
4. Little Church
5. Bitches Brew
6. Improv #1
7. Bass and Percussion Improv #1
8. Nefertiti
9. Black Satin
10. Miles Runs the Voodoo Down
11. Lonely Fire
12. Travere (Take 1)
13. What I Say / The Theme

CD 2:
1. Vocal Improv
2. In A Silent Way
3. In Concert (Part III)
4. Right Off
5. Bass and Percussion Improv #2
6. Pinocchio
7. Sanctuary
8. Nem Um Talvez
9. Calypso Frelimo
10. Travere (Take #2)
11. Inamorata
12. Directions (Take #2)
13. The Theme

– Paul Pelon IV




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