Miles is one of these musicians who wrote music history. He was part
of many famous productions like Luther Vandross' Power of Love,
Michael Jackson’s HIStory and the classic Miles Davis album
Tutu. Jason comments bass player Lee: "He
is a superior musician who constantly makes everyone around him sound
better." The same is to say about Jason Miles.
projects like Coast to Coast - Maximum Grooves (2004),
Soul Summit (2008), and recently
Global Noize (with DJ Logic) he is best known for his tribute
albums: Celebrating the Music of Weather Report (2000), A
Love Affair: The Music of Ivan Lins (2000), To Grover with Love
(2001), Miles to Miles in The Spirit of Miles Davis (2005),
What's Going On? (2006), his
tribute to Marvin Gaye and this year 2 Grover With Love, his
second homage to the late Grover Washington.
Jason explains the
reason for his sophomore approach: “I started listening to Come
Morning, the follow up to Winelight, and started to love those songs.
I then listened to Strawberry Moon, and realized that I was on one of
the songs on the CD, ‘Summer Nights,’ written by Marcus Miller. I knew
at that point that there was definitely another Grover project to do,
but it had to be done a certain way.”
Jason graces his
new album with top notch musicians of the smooth jazz scene, among
others Andy Snitzer, Najee, Kim Waters, Jay Beckenstein (sax),
Dean Brown, Chuck Loeb (guitars), Brian Dunn (drums), Maysa (vocals),
Ralph MacDonald (percussion)
and Dominick Farinacci (trumpet).
is taken from Grover Washington's album Strawberry Moon (1987),
composed, arranged and performed by Marcus Miller. Jason's cover
features Andy Snitzer on sax. While Jason still plays the synth bass
like the original, he fortunately replaced the programmed drums with
Brian Dunne on drums, what really excels his rendition.
originally appeared on Grover's Skylarkin' (1979) during his
Motown period. Eric Gale played the guitar on the original. This part
is taken over by Chuck Loeb who brilliantly surpasses the original.
Making Love To You from Grover's album Come Morning (1980) is best
performed by the irresistible Najee on alto sax. A little more moody
then Grover's mellow soprano sax.
(1974) was certainly one of Grover's biggest hits. Ralph MacDonald's
arrangement and Grover's signature sound was an unbeatable
combination. Maysa adds a special flavor to this sound.
Jason creates his
own Strawberry Moon. His synth inspired version reminds me of
the music of Art of Noise (Mr. Robinson). Popular and contemporary.
Moonstreams was originally released on Grover's album Feels So
Good (1975). The rendition features newcomer Dominick Farinacci on
trumpet replacing Grover's sax in an elegant way. Also impressing
Jason's synth transforming of the song. The sublime pastel color
character of the original was exchanged with stronger colors.
defines Reaching Out anew with a great attitude of sensibility.
Delicious! Grover's album Reed Seed (1974) is an
underappreciated rare gem, which many critics consider as his best
one. With a sure instinct Jason has chosen the title song and presents
the formidable Jay Beckenstein on sax.
Kim Waters (sax) and Dominick Farinacci (trumpet) shares the melody on
The Saddest Thing. A brilliant interference between song and
taken from the album Then And Now (1988) is more on the
straight ahead side of jazz. A great session between Andy, Chuckl,
Jason and Dominick. Grover doesn’t like to be categorized, and quotes
the great Duke Ellington in saying there are only two types of music,
"good and bad."
Jason comments his
finest session: "I have to thank Chuck Loeb, Buddy Williams, and
Gerald Veasley for getting behind this vision and understanding the
concept. They helped me bring this music to life in a big way. Playing
this music live in the studio with them was a beautiful experience. We
created it from scratch and there are dynamics happening!"
Final cut is
Jason's own composition To Grover With Love featuring Dean
Brown on guitar. Jason performs the Hammond B3 in Booker T.'s style.
I have to thank
Jason for his new album 2 Grover With Love. We shouldn't forget
the roots of Smooth Jazz. Without any doubt is Grover Washington the
godfather of R&B influenced jazz and pioneered this music style. Jason
refurbishes beautiful gems of the past.