Your Sunday Morning Jazz Album: Ron Miles – “Heaven”


Sunday morning is when the serenity comes down.  Sunday morning is the cocoon from the heavy exhaustion of too much Saturday night fun.  Sunday morning is when the city agrees to use its inside voice.  Sunday morning is when a hush settles in over the land.  It is a time for sitting still and listening to quiet music and silently praying the aspirin and coffee do something to stop your head from exploding.  Drama and stress are strictly forbidden on Sunday morning.

Your Sunday Morning Jazz Album is just for you, for times just like these.  If you possess the freakish compulsion to get-up-and-go when the clock strikes Sunday morning, this music is not for you.  Go and listen to a Spotify EDM playlist or something.  But whatever you decide, just do it quietly and far away from those of us who appreciate the true solemn nature of a Sunday morning.

Trumpeter Ron Miles and guitarist Bill Frisell both know how to treat a melody.  They each have their way of patiently nurturing it, getting every last drop the melody has to give and making each of those drops resonate like mad.  The two had collaborated prior to the duo recording Heaven.  They both hailed from the Denver, Colorado scene, and Miles performed on Frisell’s 1996 recording Quartet, which is arguably the best thing Frisell has ever done.  On this 2002 session, it’s just the two of them, and the totality of their past collaborations and their complementary approaches to song paid huge dividends on this sublime set of tunes.

The lovely, gentle melodicism of the Miles original “Coward of the Country” sets the tone for this album, and so when Miles turns up the heat briefly on “Beautiful” and “Just Married” and the duo kicks up a little dust on “We See,” it’s only to give a little nudge of wakefulness to music set for peacefulness.  The duo perform renditions of comps by Duke Ellington, Bob Dylan, Thelonious Monk, Jelly Roll Morton and Hank Williams, and it’s a rendition of the latter’s “My Cheatin’ Heart” that serves as one of the album’s highlights and as exactly the kind of music one needs on a lazy Sunday morning.

You need this album today, right now.

  • Artist-Title:  Ron Miles – Heaven
  • Personnel:  Ron Miles (trumpet) and Bill Frisell (guitar).
  • Proper Use:  1) Staring vacantly into space and silently hoping that the hangover gets bored and just wanders off, 2) Sitting on the windowsill and watching the rain fall and turn the whole world green, or 3) Cat, lap, sofa, nap.

Released in 2002 on Sterling Circle Records.

Music from Denver, Colorado.

Available at:  Amazon | CDBaby