The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, co-directed by Clarence Acox and Michael Brockman, played music of Miles Davis and arrangements by Gil Evans in its November concerts in Seattle and Kirkland. The concert at The Kirkland Performance Center was recorded for radio and we're airing highlights from that performance this week on Jazz Northwest.
The concert was billed as "Miles Ahead" after the title of the ground-breaking 1957 Miles Davis-Gil Evans album. Members of the SRJO trumpet section took turns in place of Miles Davis' solos in the Gil Evans arrangements.
Miles Davis and Gil Evans first collaborated on the famed Birth of the Cool sessions in 1948, a workshop band that explored then new-to-jazz instrumental colors and harmonies. The partnership continued with the reunion in 1957 for Miles Ahead followed by two more albums in quick succession, Porgy and Bess, and Sketches of Spain.
For this concert, the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra was augmented with two French horns and tuba and the saxophones frequently doubled on flutes and clarinets.
The next pair of concerts by the SRJO will celebrate the 100th birthday of Ella Fitzgerald with guest singer Carmen Bradford. The concerts will be February 18 in Seattle and February 19 in Kirkland.
Jazz Northwest airs Sundays at 2 p.m. Pacific on 88.5 knkx and streams at knkx.org. The program is recorded and produced by Jim Wilke, exclusively for knkx. After broadcast, programs are archived and may be streamed on demand at jazznw.org.