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Jazz - Released November 10, 2017 | Yellowbird Records

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Beware the heavyweight casting! For this I’m A Man, Ron Miles has summoned at his sides drummer Brian Blade, guitarist Bill Frisell, pianist Jason Moran and bass player Thomas Morgan. True all-stars who never rest on their laurels and who clearly aren't there just for the money. With this project as powerful as a raised fist, the trumpet player from Indianapolis has transformed his trio with Frisell and Blade (who penned Quiver in 2012 and Circuit Rider in 2014) into a quintet. A gang committed to the commitment! The one that has always inhabited the jazz and its illustrious representatives, and that Ron Miles resuscitates in an America whose racial injustices are still newsworthy. Hence this completely explicit title, I’m A Man, a reference to the inscription that brandished black municipal employees in Memphis in 1968, after the death of two of their colleagues in murky circumstances. It’s the voice of Civil Rights History that resonates here once again. A voice tinted with blues obviously, but most of all a plural voice, as Ron Miles wanted. He shared with his accomplices not only their parts, but the complete partition of his compositions. It’s a collective approach, sometimes libertarian, like the jazz from the end of the 60s knew how to generate, and which sounds here more modern than ever. © MZ/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released October 9, 2020 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released October 24, 2014 | Yellowbird Records

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Jazz - Released October 19, 2012 | Yellowbird Records

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Jazz - Released October 9, 2020 | Blue Note Records

Rainbow Sign is trumpeter/composer Ron Miles' debut recording for Blue Note. He re-enlists the same intuitive quintet who played on 2017's I Am a Man. It features guitarist Bill Frisell, pianist Jason Moran, bassist Thomas Morgan, and drummer Brian Blade. Written during the summer of 2018 while caring for his dying father, these nine compositions were intended to provide empathy, peace, love, and reassurance to his transitioning parent and his family. Clocking in at over 71 minutes, Rainbow Sign bridges polytonal modal music, blues, gospel, post-bop, and pop. The long opener "Like Those Who Dream" commences with sparse, seemingly unrelated piano and bass notes, droning trumpet tones, and guitar harmonics, with Blade's syncopated snare offering skeletal rhythmic miniatures. A pulse emerges from the front line at two minutes in, and Miles moves into deep blues. He and Frisell twin through gorgeously scripted lyric lines as the rhythm section floats atop and around his modal blues. The trumpeter's solo sings with pain and resonance as Moran's expansive comping is colored by Frisell's intelligent chord voicings before embarking on his own break. Single "Queen of the South" was inspired by Ethiopian pop, and is so songlike it's hummable. The lyric and textural interaction between Miles, Morgan, and Frisell entwines then separates for Moran who grounds the harmony in a majestic cadence as Blade plays around the beat before stretching it. The drummer employs muted tom-toms to introduce the haunting, minor-key ballad "Average." Its impressionist melodic center assumes a dominant role even as it shifts to allow for tonal variances from Frisell and Moran. "The Rumor" is infused with a drifting Americana melody from the guitarist. In a stately 4/4, Moran embellishes and extrapolates the harmony while Blade's dialogues with him intimately before Miles opens the circle thematically with muted blues lines and phrases before delivering an artfully rendered solo. "Custodian of the New" is a post-bop number with intersecting rhythms. Moran, with Miles and Frisell in tow, interrogate a layered, labyrinthine lyric as Morgan and Blade drive it with almost rockist force. "A Kind Word" closes with dramatic harmonic ideas amid multivalent rhythmic interplay. Its six-note boogaloo riff offers Moran room for chordal extrapolation while Frisell and Miles travel the lyric's outer reaches with gorgeous sonic effects as they inquire about its nuances and sense impressions. Rainbow Sign is a deeply personal album for Miles. It's a work rife with dignity and emotional and spiritual power, performed with grace and taste by this gifted quintet. It builds on I Am a Man with song-like compositions, and more intimate and intuitive dialogue, resulting in a very different, yet equally compelling listening experience. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 26, 1990 | Capri Records

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Jazz - Released July 26, 1993 | Capri Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Sterling Circle Records

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Jazz - Released October 20, 2017 | Yellowbird Records

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