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April 7, 2010

Miles Davis Podcast: Prelude

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Since producing the ground-breaking and popular podcast series The Traneumentary-Celebrating the Music of John Coltrane in 2007, I switched gears for a bit and spent some time in the worlds of pop, classical and broadway. My podcast productions include Elvis Costello, Yo-Yo Ma, Billy Joel, Stephen Sondheim, Motown, Michael Jackson and others. I eventually made my way back into the jazz realm with podcasts featuring Pat Metheny, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. Because The Traneumentary was the first of its kind, much of it was improvised along the way, making it a really intense trial by fire kind of experience. Working on these other projects gave me a fresh perspective so when it came time to tackle the Miles Davis series, I was ready.

So in 2009, I assembled a record label collective (as I did with The Traneumentary) with Sony, Concord, Verve and Rhino and I set out to produce The Miles Davis Podcast. Miles was different from Coltrane in that his career span was longer so there were more recordings to cover. There is also more variety in the styles of his work and his evolution as an artist. That required a more diverse cast of characters that ranged from his legendary contemporaries Sonny Rollins and Wayne Shorter, to top notch jazz artists like Steve Kuhn, Randy Brecker, Maria Schneider, Ethan Iverson, and more recent collaborators Marcus Miller and Easy Mo Bee. I also included a host of varying musicians heavily influenced by Miles including Derek Trucks, Henry Rollins, Chris Botti, Nels Cline and many others.

Producing the Miles series was just as challenging and stimulating as the Traneumentary, plus it had the added benefit of not being first. It took a year to produce and I could have have easily kept on going – savoring the legacy of Miles and the profound affect he had on jazz, music, art and life. It’s a bad-ass collection (if I do say so myself) and this experience inspired the relaunch of Jazz Online. Take a listen for yourself – I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed putting it together and feel free to comment and share your own personal story about the artistry of Miles Davis.

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