Coleman/Stert/Cobb/Carter – 4 Generations of Miles

4 Generations of Miles
(Chesky – 2002)
by Ricky Miller

Sometimes you gotta take the good with the bad. 4 Generations of Miles is a good CD. I expected a slam-bam super great CD, so I was a little disappointed, but if you go into it neutral, you’ll come out pleased. In an effort to emulate the great Mr. Davis, George Coleman relegates some of his natural performing strengths to the background becoming a shadow of Miles, rather than an interpreter. Likewise the fiery, agressive style of guitarist Mike Stern is toned down to better integrate into the overall theme.

Bassist Ron Carter holds the bottom together well throught the CD, as does drummer Jimmy Cobb, although Cobb seems to disappear sometime. The CD is meant to be a tribute album, and in that respect it succeeds, delivering an assortment of Davis’ tunes and tying them together. All the performers played with Miles at one time or another, Jimmy Cobb on Kind of Blue, Carter as part of the 60s quintet, Coleman on Four and more-live at lincoln center and Mike Stern as a member of Miles fusion bands in the later years. I’d have preferred that this quartet of jazz greats had taken ownership of the tracks and pumped out the jammin CD it could have been, but it’s good listening music for a while.