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Coast to Coast by Maximum Grooves

Jason Miles has assembled an all-star team of musicians - operating as a session supergroup called Maximum Grooves - to explore the organic, improvisational potential of groove-based contemporary jazz in Coast to Coast.

The 12 tracks of this new release are built around the rhythm sections of Miles, drummers Steve Ferrone and Gene Lake, and bassists Will Lee and James Genus. Spicing up the grooves set up by these threesomes are several high-powered players hailing from one end of the country to the other.

Most of the songs are Miles’ originals, penned in collaboration with several of the artists who perform on this recording.

"I wanted to concentrate on the rhythm section and make sure that was together," Miles says in a press release, "and then get the people who were great soloists to collaborate with me on melodies, to make sure those were equally as strong as the rhythm section."

The genesis of Coast to Coast dates all the way back to 1974, when Miles first saw keyboardist Don Grolnick and his band - a lineup that included Joe Beck, David Sanborn, Will Lee and Steve Gadd - at Mikells, the fabled New York club at 97th and Columbus.

"I never forgot that night," says Miles, who remember’s Grolnick’s Cactus as a high point of the performance. "It had that special groove that I later realized as all New York City."

After Grolnick’s death in 1996, Miles felt that the best way to honor him was to record Cactus, the song that introduced Miles to a lot of New York players. The track was the starting point for Coast to Coast, a recording that employs contemporary technology to expand on Miles’ initial affinity for the New York sound of the 1970s.

The result is a classic sounding recording that has a progressive edge as a team of top-level players finds the pocket and dig in for maximum impact.

None of the songs are exceptionally long, with most tracks around the 4 ½-minute mark. Krazy Eyez is a respectable 5:42, with C’est La Vie and

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Maximum Grooves
  • CD Title: Coast to Coast
  • Genre: Soul / Funk Jazz
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Telarc
  • Tracks: Everyday Magic, Chasing Shadows, Fabulicious, Cactus, You Da Mann (dedicated to Herbie Mann), Krazy Eyez, Hipnotize, Attitude, C’est La Vie, Karma Kanic, Coming Home, When I Get There
  • Musicians: Jason Miles, producer, composer, keyboards, piano, drum and percussion programming, Fender Rhodes, Hammond organ, loops, Moog bass; Jeff Kashiwa, tenor saxophone; Jeff Mironov, guitar; Steven Wolf, drums, programming; Herb Alpert, trumpet; Russ Freeman, guitar; James Genus, acoustic bass; Gene Lake, drums; Wayman Tisdale, bass; Andy Snitzer, tenor, alto and soprano saxophones, electric piano, digital editing; Sherrod Barnes, guitar; Steve Ferrone, drums; Buzz Feiten, guitar; Will Lee, bass; Derek Trucks, lead guitar on You Da Mann; Dean Brown, guitar; Tom Schuman, Rhodes piano; Marc Quinones, congas; DJU, Kaos Pad, scratching and EFX; Michael Brecker, tenor saxophone, Indian flute; Amanda Homi, voca on Krazy Eyezl; Hiram Bullock, guitar; Zach Danziger, drums, loop and programming; Jeff Golub, guitar; Cassandra Reed, vocals on Hipnotize and C’est La Vie; Walter Beasley, soprano saxophone; James Genus, acoustic and electric bass; Jaared, alto saxophone; Barry Danielian, trumpet; Jay Beckenstein, tenor saxophone; Romero Lubambo, electric and acoustic guitars; Gerald Albright, alto saxophone
  • Rating: Five Stars
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