Nov 29 2017
A melody from Ron Miles radiates life like a beating heart, and a song from Ron Miles sounds like he’s wearing his heart on his sleeve. He delivers the notes with an old soul patience, and it’s something that gives the melody time to breathe and blossom in its own time. It’s also a quality that exudes sincerity from every note. Whether it comes out as a peaceful sigh or ratcheting up the intensity a notch, that melody transmits off as quite personal, as if every expression means everything to him and hoping it does for the listener, too.
On his newest release I Am A Man, the blues is everywhere. It has a chipper personality on the swinging “The Gift That Keeps On Giving” and has some fight in it on “Revolutionary Congregation.” It smoulders with an undercurrent of pain on “Darken My Door.” “Jasper” and “Mother Juggler” are a lesson on how the blues can incite both contemplation and a warm smile, that it’s all in the feel. Miles has a talent for showing the endless shades of the blues. I Am A Man is just more evidence to this fact.
A melody from Ron Miles is moonlight distilled down to sonic form. There are times when he exhales a melody and he’s the only object in the sky. And then there are those times, like on closing track “Is There Room In Your Heart For A Man Like Me,” when the gravitational force of his presence pulls an ensemble around him like a sea of stars. Bassist Thomas Morgan and guitarist Bill Frisell dance in circles, a rapidly pulsing light, recreating the magic of their own duo project. On cornet, Miles brings them under his sway, guiding pianist Jason Moran‘s own melodic streaks into the nebula. Brian Blade has the most unassuming way of achieving omnipresence, where suddenly the soft patter of his drums appears from out of nowhere while simultaneously conveying a memory of it always having been there. The song has surges of melody and then suddenly blooms and spreads and bends and shines, with Miles at the center of it all.
There isn’t a person on this planet that shouldn’t have a Ron Miles recording in their home.
Your album personnel: Ron Miles (cornet), Jason Moran (piano), Bill Frisell (guitar), Thomas Morgan (bass) and Brian Blade (drums).
Released on Yellowbird Records.
Music from Denver, CO.
Learn more about the inspirations for this recording on the artist’s site.
And here’s a very cool video about Miles and the album…