Various Miles Espanol:New Sketches of Spain

Producer Bob Belden has built somewhat of a mini-industry on the music of Miles Davis, and every project Belden has been involved with has been insightful, respectful and in the case of such box sets as The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions and The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions, among others, incredibly essential. The third in a series of releases that seek to highlight and broaden the Davis catalogue within different and new genres (2008's Miles In India recreated vintage Davis classics with an East Indian flavour, while this year's Asiento reinvented the landmark Bitches Brew within electronica), New Sketches of Spain not only reinvents classics like "Concerto de Aranjuez" and "Flamenco Sketches" with the help of all-star Spanish, African, jazz and Latin jazz musicians, but offers up 11 new significant tracks as well. Despite the ambitiousness of the project, this is an exercise in textures that aims to flesh out the original Sketches from all of those decades ago. Davis sidemen such as Chick Corea, Sonny Fortune and Jack DeJohnette are present, but the touches that truly stand out are the ones that highlight the Andalusian influence, like the airy flamenco guitar and flute that grace "Concerto de Aranjuez" or the deft percussion and accordion spearheading "Solea." At two discs and over two hours, this is a bit much to take in a single sitting, yet it's a listen that rewards repeated plays. (eOne)