I’ve been on travels, so the actual concert happened two weeks ago.
The Gil Evans / Miles Davis: Still Ahead concert at the Hollywood Bowl was a performance of music collaborated between the late Gil Evans and the late Miles Davis. This was performed by some of the current heavies of jazz: Terence Blanchard, Nicholas Payton, Christian McBride, Jimmy Cobb, Peter Erskine and several other musicians of very high caliber.
This concert was one of the best that I have ever attended in my lifetime. This statement may sound like the commonly overused description of every pop concert a teenager attends, but it’s the simpliest way to summarize the concert. No, I wasn’t screaming like a teenage girl from the addrenaline of seeing my favorite star strutting on stage and lip syncing to a vocal track. No, I wasn’t repeatedly texting my friend next to me OMG! OMG. This concert was a soul digging, synapse charging, audio marathon. I’ve actively listened to Sketches of Spain and Porgy and Bess countless times, but listening to it live and performed by world renowned jazz musicians makes for an incredible experience. Great concerts remind you why you make the effort and spend the money to make it to these events. This just in time for me after attending a string of uninspired concerts performed by orchestras and ensembles around Los Angeles this summer, I was getting losing much enthusiasm for going to concerts. Don’t get me wrong on that statement, I’m not referring to the lack of musical perfection, but the lack of soul in the music performances.
I wished I had something to write about Christian McBride’s performance. He was phenomenal as to be expected, but I didn’t pay singular attention to him. To only focus on one part of the of the complex tonal pallet created by Gil Evans is to miss the forest for the trees. What they created together was a once in a lifetime experience for people who can appreciate and enjoy tonally complex music performed at the highest level.