Trumpeter Orbert Davis on the musical legacy of Miles Davis | Chicago News


This Sunday, June 12, trumpeter Orbert Davis rebroadcasts the music of Miles Davis. The classic albums “Kind of Blue” and “Sketches of Blue” will be reinvented by the Orbert Davis Sextet and Chicago Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra. Tickets are just $1 and the concert is the start of a partnership between the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and the Kehrein Center for the Arts in the Austin neighborhood.

“We’ve played the Auditorium Theater at least a dozen times and tickets are $50. But if we’re really true to who we say who we are, music should be for everyone,” Orbert said. “We’ve done free concerts at Millennium Park several times, but there’s something about a single dollar that becomes property. I think if we said “it’s free” maybe fewer people would show up. But if we say it’s a dollar, okay, let me invest a dollar and check that.

This won’t be the first time Orbert has taken on the role of Miles Davis.

“I performed ‘Sketches of Spain’ years ago with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, with William Russo, and I deliberately played the role of Miles because it wasn’t just about playing music . I had to dig deeper into his aesthetic because often a player tries to play like Miles and it becomes satire,” Orbert said. “It took a lot of effort to feel what he was feeling and then turn it off and feel my own feelings rather than trying to emulate Miles. We’ve played this piece 25 or more times and I got into it so much the aesthetic of Gil Evan’s writing that I decided to do it my way. It’s a slightly different instrumentation. I removed two of the movements and replaced them with my own compositions and also a quartet in strings, but really bringing more Moorish, African influence to Spanish music.

Orbert calls Miles an early proponent of “third stream music” – the intersection of jazz and classical music.

“The project he did with Gil Evans, it was the third stream. It was really the marketing push of the concept, because before that there were projects but it kind of justified the third stream that there was. has this deeply enriched classical sensibility but with the essence of jazz,” Orbert said. “I think what’s remarkable is that it all happened in a time frame where he still records some of the music most One of the reasons we’re focusing on ‘Kind of Blue’ and ‘Sketches of Spain’ is that they’re only a few years apart, but they’re so different. amazing that everything he touched really turned to gold.

But it all comes down to the impact Miles had on not just the music, but the people around him.

“Miles Davis was an influencer. He was an institution. He did his thing. It’s almost like the crowd is moving one way and Miles is turning his back and going the other way,” Orbert said. When you take that, in addition to creating followers – everyone who has played with Miles has become a leader in their own right. They were sidemen but then Herbie Hancock became Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter and Ron Carter and Tony Williams – they all became leaders and I think it was because of that example that Miles Davis set.


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