VA – Jason Miles Presents – To Grover, With Love (2006)

VA - Jason Miles Presents - To Grover, With Love (2006)
Artist: Various
Album: Jason Miles Presents – To Grover, With Love
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Released: 2006
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Gerald Albright – Winelight
Russ Freeman – East River Drive
Ronnie Laws, Sounds of Blackness – Inner City Blues – Make Me Wanna Holler
Herbie Mann, Tom Schuman, Jeff Mironov – Mr. Magic
Dave Koz – In the Name of Love
Everette Harp – Black Frost
Regina Belle, Steve Cole, George Duke – Just the Two of Us
Mark Whitfield – Summer Chill
Richard Elliott – Take Me There
Jay Beckenstein – Let It Flow
Paul Taylor – Come Morning
Chuck Loeb, Dave Mann – Brighton by the Sea
Chaka Khan, Greg Philinganes – Love Me Still
Michael & Randy Brecker, Joe Sample, Joey DeFrancesco – Loran’s Dance


Jason Miles shows his appreciation for the highly respected saxophonist Grover Washington with this excellent CD titled To Grover, With Love. This is not your ordinary tribute CD filled with mere exercises in nostalgia, but one filled with cutting-edge, contemporary performances by flutist Herbie Mann and guitarist Russ Freeman, among others. Miles has selected 13 songs, including several of Grover Washington’s best-known songs, and added solo showcases that flow smoothly with endless nuances of color and emotion. These versions do full justice to Grover’s timeless compositions and songs by Marvin Gaye (“Inner City Blues”) and Bill Withers (“Just the Two of Us” and “Summer Chill”). The CD itself is the centerpiece since each track exhibits such high standards of musicianship from start to finish. From the guitar lead of Russ Freeman on “East River Drive” to the soulful sax wailings, this CD dusts off, shakes down, and hands you some searing soul, scorching riffs, and serious funk. The instrumental arrangement that is clearly a refreshing change is Herbie Mann’s flute playing that Miles substituted as lead instrument on the Washington saxophone legacy “Mr. Magic.” To Grover, With Love clearly ranks among Miles’ best tributes that include his phenomenal hits that showcased the music of Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul on The Music of Weather Report and Ivan Lins’ compositions on A Love Affair: The Music of Ivan Lins.
Review by Paula Edelstein