Jun 25, 2013
Jason Miles was coming of age in New York during the late 1960’s, and he and his friends haunted the concert halls and clubs of the day to catch now-legendary performers. One magic evening he recalled was the night they caught Sly & the Family Stone opening for the Jimi Hendrix Experience. I checked his memory to make sure – May 10, 1968 at the Fillmore East. Not a bad bill! Miles was mesmerized by the funk pioneers, who hit the stage with a mix of performers who were both white and black, and male and female. Their mix of rock and soul music, featuring tunes from the two week old album Dance to the Music, brought the house down.
Forty-five years and over one hundred recordings later – including the synthesizer programming for Miles Davis’ ‘80s masterpieces Tutu, Music From Siesta and Amandla – Jason revisits those sounds with his band Global Noize on Sly Reimagined – The Music of Sly & the Family Stone on the Zoho Roots labe. Miles and Global Noize may be the perfect collection of musicians to tackle the Family Stone repertoire, as they carry on the wonderful concept of mixing race, sex, style, age and genre in one sound that is difficult to pigeonhole. Global Noize will celebrate the CD release with a show at Joe’s Pub in New York on June 26.
Miles has made it his specialty to “reimagine” the classic music of artists as diverse as Ivan Lins, Weather Report, Marvin Gaye and Grover Washington. Sly Reimagined takes this process one step further, as Global Noize lays the foundation for guests like Roberta Flack and Nona Hendryx,to vocalize. Adding further authenticity to the project is the appearance of Greg Errico, the original Family Stone drummer on three tracks.
We talked about the CD and Miles’ views of music and the music and the music business in Podcast 358. Click here to download the podcast, which features musical selections fromt eh album, including:
Global Noize – “It’s a Family Affair – Groove Vibe Version” from Sly Reimagined. It was this song playing on Jason’s iPhone that inspired the whole project. Miles says he heard Roberta Flack singing the song in his mind, so he went out and got her.
Global Noize – “In Time” from Sly Reimagined. Original Sly drummer Greg Errico guests on three tracks on the CD, including this one, which has Nona Hendryx (Labelle, Material) on lead vocals. Nona will join Global Noize on their June 26th gig at Joe’s Pub.
Global Noize – “You Can Make It If You Try” from Sly Imagined. Among the Jazz heavyweights who perform on the CD is trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, a long-time Miles collaborator who lends her horn to two tracks, including this one alongside tenor sax man Jay Rodriguez.