Everything’s Beautiful, Miles Davis and Robert Glaspar, review by Barry O’Sullivan
Robert Glasper’s new album Everything’s Beautiful features imagined reinterpretations of songs by Miles Davis.The album dives into masters and out takes from the Miles Davis’ Columbia Records era. Glasper is joined by British soul singer/songwriter Laura Mvula, hip-hop producer Rashad Smith,Grammy-nominated Australian neo-soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote, jazz guitarist John Scofield and the legendary Stevie Wonder being just fabulous on harmonica on Right On Brotha plus other genre artists featuring riffs and voice samples of the ‘general badass’ Miles talking in the studio to his musicians.
For sometime now Glasper has been channeling the inspired works of Miles Davis, most evident with his contribution to the forthcoming Miles Davis biopic, Miles Ahead.
If you are a jazz snob and expect to hear classic Miles Davis trumpet on a stemless Harmon mute then this music is definitely not for you.They don’t make it like that anymore unfortunately but luckily jazz is in an evolution just as it was in those years with Miles from the mid ‘40s to the early ‘90s when he was in the thick of almost every important innovation and stylistic development of the period.Miles, more often than not, lead the way in those changes both with his own recordings and by choosing sidemen and collaborators who forged new directions. This recording is virtual proof that the evolution is still in progress today.
I was enchanted by the standout tracks of Erykah Badu’s Maiysha (So Long) and the Australian ensemble Haitus Kaiyote’s contribution on Little Church and captivated by the vocals of Laura Mvula on Silence Is The Way as well as KING on Song for Selim.Just in these works alone Glasper has built something unique but still unquestionably Miles.
The cover art of the recording created by Francine Turk integrates elements of Miles Davis own art work.Turk creates a visual that embraces the ideas of Robert Glasper, taking fragments of Miles music and reinterpreting these fragments in a unique, modern and far from ‘silent way’. In the Main Man’s own words heard often when he was pleased with a recording session…” everything’s beautiful.”