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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Miles Davis epigones

Your humble servant is a great fan of the "Bitches Brew" period of Miles Davis, so when young bands bring materials that is influenced by the master, it is always with interest that I listen to them. Two new epigones recently albums that would broadly fit within this category.

Agent-K - Mouvements (CDBaby, 2009) ***

Agent-K is a band created by bassist Kenny Cordova, with David Burgos on trumpet & flugelhorn, Max Farber on keys, and Bobby Macintyre on drums. The references to the electric Miles are more than obvious, including the sound of the trumpet and of the electric piano, and if you stay in the same zone, you of course elicit a comparison which is hard to win. That being said, the music is worth a listen, rhythmic, atmospheric and fun.

Listen and download from CDBaby.

Iron Kim Style (CDBaby, 2009) ***½

Iron Kim Style is Dennis Rea and Thaddaeus Brophy on guitar, Bill Jones on trumpet, Ryan Berg on bass and Jay Jaskot on drums. The band brings a quite interesting mix of jazz and rock, strong compositions and subtle playing. Yes, Miles is present in spirit, and so is McLaughlin, yet less in the pyrotechnics and more in the overall stylistic development. Another great advantage is the compactness of the compositions, which helps them avoid the trap of the lengthy elaborations in which usually only the best can survive*.

Listen and download from CDBaby.

* free aphorism : if you can't swim, don't create your own ocean, but stay in the bath-tub

© stef


joesh said...

Hi Stef

If you're readers are really interested they should also check out the UK band Dog Soup. This band started off by transcribing the Bitches Brew album - playing it live, and little by little adding their own stuff!!


allan said...

Thanks for the heads up on Dog Soup, Joesh.
I'm a sucker for the Miles Davis "electric period" and love the pure energy of it all with the wah-wah pedal and fuzzbox trumpet effects.
Some of the electric stuff is really beautiful such as the dreamy, swampy "Recollections" which, in my opinion, even surpasses the amazing "In A Silent Way".
By the way Stef, CD Baby appear to have increased the price of "Iron Kim Style" following your review!

Stef said...

Hi guys, thanks for the comments and suggestions.
Allan, you're right. I downloaded it last week for $6.50, and now it's at nine. I hope it's not because of me?


Dennis Rea said...

Greetings Stef,
Many thanks for the kind review of Iron Kim Style. I should point out, however, that there are _no_ compositions on this CD - all tracks are completely improvised.
Thanks for your good works in service of the music...
Dennis Rea (Iron Kim Style)

Dennis Rea said...

Oh, and in response to Allan's comment, the price increase is due to the fact that the CD will soon be released officially by MoonJune Records (, so the current price is consistent with other MoonJune releases. It was previously available in a self-released edition only.

everything is free said...

Stef - I'm just now catching this review. I recorded the Agent-K record and I can tell you we had a great time making it. Thanks for spreading the word.
Aaron Fishbein in the Miami heat :)