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Miles, Ron: I Am A Man

In 1968 two black sanitation workers were killed in Memphis because of a malfunctioning garbage truck. Black employees had been neglected for far too long and protested in earnest. I think Ron Miles, a cornet specialist, would like us to keep that in mind while listening to his latest effort titled I Am A Man. As a human race we are all important and all of us need to be treated with the dignity and respect each of us deserves. Well folks, Miles and his band also deserve plenty of respect as I Am A Man is a fine jazz album with fantastic performances from every member of the band. Perhaps that is what's most notable here. Miles' let's all the musicians in on the action making for a verifiable highlight reel.

On the title track which begins the album, the groove moves slowly before solo cornet and guitar intertwine and the drums get very busy. Miles' Cornet work is a high point as is the piano from Jason Moran. His playing runs the gamut from soft to incredibly forceful as he puts forth a virtuosic display with Miles' cornet happily following along. With "Darken My Door" the melody is wistful and somber with slight moments of discord. The intensity level builds and so does the improvisation. Piano, guitar and cornet solos all take their turn and at times the frenzied attack is incredibly intense. A nice bass solo augments the melodic "The Gift That Keeps On Giving" while more chaotic instrumental workouts can be heard in "Revolutionary Congregation" before a smoother, gentler tone gives way. The disc ends with the almost eleven minute "Is There Room In Your Heart For A Man Like Me?", an excellent closer showcasing everything this disc has to offer; great solos, nice melodies, complex arrangements and diverse layers of sound. I think this track boasts the best guitar work on the disc.

While the virtuosic performances offer many highlights, I Am A Man features fantastic ensemble play. The compositions and wild improvisations are in perfect harmony making this an essential purchase for any fan of modern jazz.

Track Listing:
1. I Am A Man (6:35)
2. Darken My Door (12:57)
3. The Gift That Keeps On Giving (9:27)
4. Revolutionary Congregation (6:00)
5. Mother Juggler (5:20)
6. Jasper (5:21)
7. Is There Room In Your Heart For A Man Like Me? (10:55)

Added: March 17th 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1078
Language: english

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