Widely considered the 20th century’s most influential jazz musician, Miles Davis was at the forefront of the development of the American jazz music tradition. As a bandleader, Davis garnered and mentored some of the most prominent musicians of the 20th century, who each went on to redefine music in their own right.
“Miles Smiles” brings together an all-star cast of Miles Davis alumni to redefine yet again: Organist Joey DeFrancesco, bassist Ralphe Armstrong, Alphonse Mouzon (formerly of the Weather Report), and Miles Davis’ sole trumpet protégé Wallace Roney.
Released in 1967, it immediately caused uproar because of its high and inspired quality. Davis recorded the album with his famed second quintet, which included Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter.
Today, the memory of Miles Smiles will be evoked by some of most prodigious players in jazz today. All thrived in Davis’s final bands and they come together to pay sizzling tribute to their legendary employer.
Wallace Roney is the only trumpeter Davis ever mentored and he held down the trumpet chair in the great Tony Williams quintet.
Joey DeFrancesco was 17 and unknown outside of Philadelphia when Davis recruited him, a spotlight that revived the flagging fortunes of the Hammond B3 organ.
Electric bassi genius Ralphe Armstrong is one of the major jazz fusion trailblazers of all time, working with the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jean-Luc Ponty, Earl Klugh, Geri Allen and many more disciples and associates of Miles Davis.
Drummer Alphonse Mouzon, a veteran of Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner and Wayne Shorter appeared on Miles Davis’ 1990 soundtrack, Dingo.