Title - 'Everything's Beautiful'
Artist - Miles Davis & Robert Glasper
Everything's Beautiful brings Miles Davis' sound into the 21st century, blending a diverse group of master takes and outtakes from across Miles' incredible tenure with Columbia Records (1955-1985) with original reinterpretations. Robert Glasper produced the collaboration. "I didn't want to do just a remix record," Glasper noted when discussing the 11-song set. "My idea was to show how Miles inspired people to make new art."
For those that have been living under a rock for the past decade, Miles Davis was an American jazz musician, bandleader, and composer. According to Paul Tingen, Davis was at the forefront of several major developments in jazz music, including cool jazz in the late 1940s, hard bop in the mid 1950s, modal jazz and orchestral jazz in the late 1950s, post bop in the 1960s, and jazz fusion in the late 1960s through the 1980s. Indeed, Gerald Lyn Early named him inarguably one of the most influential and innovative musicians of the 20th century.
As for Robert Glasper, well, he is an American jazz pianist and record producer whose 2012 album Black Radio won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album at the 55th Grammy Awards.
Knowing that "Miles didn't have one audience," Glasper recruited a legion of diverse guest artists to add to the magic of the project including familiar collaborators like R&B musicians Erykah Badu, Ledisi, Bilal and KING. They are joined by British soul singer-songwriter Laura Mvula; hip-hop producer Rashad Smith; Grammy-nominated Australian neo-soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote, rapper/producer Illa J; jazz guitarist John Scofield, who collaborated with Davis; and the legendary Stevie Wonder.
Indeed, two-time Grammy award winning Glasper partnered with SONY Music and Don Cheadle to executive produce and compose all material for both the Miles Ahead soundtrack and Everything's Beautiful. For with Cheadle's latest film Miles Ahead taking an in-depth look into the complex, yet fascinating life and legacy of legendary jazz musician Miles Davis, it seemed that with his own project re: the compilation of reimagined compositions we're discussing today on the boil, co-handling both was just perfect - for all concerned.
Erykah Badu is featured on 'Mayisha,' Bilal accompanies him on 'Ghetto Walkin,' and Stevie Wonder closes out the album with 'Right on Brotha.' Before handpicked them, Glasper made sure each artist met the criteria of being tried and true Miles Davis fans.
Glasper has verbally spoken about his hopes that to pay tribute to more than just the music here on the new album, is something that he himself hopes people will understand - especially those ardent Miles Davis fans, of course.
Having listened to the album three times now myself, I can honestly say that Davis' passion, honesty and artistic boldness still all shine through, but now with a tinge of freshness that changes none of the heart, but just dusts it off a little, shall we say.
1. “Talking Shit”
2. “Ghetto Walkin” featuring Bilal
3. “They Can’t Hold Me Down” featuring Illa J
4. “Maiysha (So Long)” featuring Erykah Badu
5. “Violets” featuring Phonte
6. “Little Church” featuring Hiatus Kaiyote
7. “Silence Is The Way” featuring Laura Mvula
8. “Song For Selim” featuring KING
9. “Milestones” featuring Georgia Ann Muldrow
10. “I’m Leaving You” featuring John Scofield and Ledisi
11. “Right On Brotha” featuring Stevie Wonder