Jason Miles is the perfect example of consistency in quality. His latest tribute to the late great Grover Washington, Jr., 2 Grover With Love, is delivered with all the bite and bounce you’d expect from one so dedicated to the magic and mystique of Grover’s music. There is as much love and dedication as ingredients in this project as there is solid engineering and production. Next year marks the 10th anniversary of Grover’s death, and Miles set out to pay tribute to him here with the Grover compositions of the 70s and 80s, with the title track finale being written by Miles himself.
There’s so much to like about this production, the deliberate drive and intensity where drive and intensity should be, the delicate touch in phrasings where such touch should be and the overall wise selection of tunes to feature. Miles has crafted music for so many heavyweights, even appearing on an original Grover piece "Summer Nights," written by bassist Marcus Miller, and is so very highly regarded in jazz circles that one has to feel it an honor to witness his expertise and depth via such a release as this.
Innovation is quite abundant here as well, as you listen to the fantastic vocalist Maysa and her rendering of the classic "Mr. Magic." Of special note is the fact that Miles assembled a group of who’s who in contemporary jazz (e.g., Najee, Kim Waters, the aforementioned Maysa, Andy Snitzer, Chuck Loeb, Jay Beckenstein and Gerald Veasley) to pull this off after only one rehearsal! Can you say experience, style, depth, and spontaneity all in one breath? All in all, another major success for Jason Miles, the consummate musician/arranger with serious focus and vision.