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Miles Away

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (112 ratings)
Miles Away album cover
Derf (For Derf Reklaw)
One For The Monica Lingas Band
Horace (For Horace Tapscott)
Waltz For Woody (For Woody Shaw)
Shades Of Phil (For Phil Ranelin)
Black Renaissance (For Harry Whitaker)
Tones For Larry Young
Mystic Voyage (For Roy Ayers)
Two Stories For Dwight (For Dwight Tribble)
The Trane & The Pharoah (For John Coltrane & Pharoah Sanders)
Album Information

Total Tracks: 10   Total Length: 59:57

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I'll fully admit that I'm well known amongst my peers for irrationally not liking certain albums and music, and perhaps this is one of those times. That being said, I've tried to listen to this a handful of times now, and really the whole thing just sounds as boring and uninspired as most of what gets passed off as modern "jazz" these days. Perhaps giving the greatness of YNQ and much of his Hip Hop, I really expected something more adventurous or visionary. Oh well, can't win them all.

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Another one for the collection


Madlib does it again. No stranger to jazz, Madlib proves he is one of the most talented and diverse producers ever. Take a listen and enjoy what Madlib has put together. You'll definitely enjoy it!

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Despite the reference to the fast show in this reviews title I was really impressd with this release. Its a great soundtrack for going about your day or just for kicking back on the sofa. However, I wonder how it wil be received by jazz purists? All in all a very enjoyable experience and well worth clicking on the "download album" button.

They Say All Music Guide

Miles Away is the second offering from Madlib’s Last Electro-Acoustic Space Jazz & Percussion Ensemble. The first, Summer Suite, was only available in limited quantities in Japan. The title here is an obvious nod to Miles Davis, but it’s only a nod. Each of these ten tracks is dedicated to a jazz artist — but Miles isn’t among them. The sources are less obvious except to hardcore fans of ’70s jazz as it met soul, funk, African rhythms, and Middle Eastern and Indo-Asian sounds. The heavy percussion and drum mantra that opens the set on “Derf” (for Derf Reklaw) is the first of many shape-shifting identities this music brings to the listener. It evolves within a minute into a soulful, mantra-like spiritual jazz tome for flute, piano, and imaginative drum and percussion interplay. “Waltz for Woody” (for Woody Shaw) uses the late trumpeter’s sense of modally oriented post-bop as a kickoff with rumbling basses, shimmering cymbals and snares, the sounds of steel drums, spacious darkly tinged pianos, and plenty of reverb — without once using a trumpet. “Shades of Phil” (for Phil Ranelin) employs layers of spaced-out synths, groove-laden basslines, repetitive piano, and popping hand percussion and drums to create a music that echoes the spirit of music that Ranelin’s Tribe made in Detroit during the ‘70s. “Mystic Voyage” (for Roy Ayers) is one of the most appealing tracks here, as bell and vibraphone timbres and plucked strings from a variety of sources — including harp — are nocturnal, funky, and cosmic. The most experimental-sounding piece is the glorious “Tones for Larry Young,” which embodies — via the layering of organ sounds and spacious distortion — the spirit of his work with both Lifetime and his groundbreaking late work on Blue Note. The set closes with its finest moment, “The Trane and the Pharoah” (for John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders), a souled-out spiritual jazz number that moves the basic changes from “A Love Supreme” up an octave and adds loads of marimbas, flutes, organs, synths, and electric bass to a hypnotic groove that constantly evolves. Miles Away isn’t just a collection of Madlib tracks, but a fully realized and brilliantly conceived and executed jazz album that uses rhythm, melody, textures, and dynamics to offer not only a tribute to the sources of its inspirations, but a new approach to electronic jazz in the 21st century. – Thom Jurek

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