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Kind of new: Orbert Davis tribute to Miles Davis

(Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune) Though every jazz trumpeter must come to terms with the vast musical legacy of Miles Davis, one Chicagoan has been particularly rigorous in doing so.

In the 1990s, Chicagoan Orbert Davis (no relation) performed the Miles Davis-Gil Evans “Sketches of Spain” repeatedly in Chicago and around the world with William Russo and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble.

And last April, Orbert Davis unveiled “Sketches of Blue,” an ambitious, evening-length homage to Miles Davis featuring an orchestral transformation of “Sketches of Spain” — retitled “Sketches of Spain (Revisited).” The program also included a performance of Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue,” by some measures the most popular jazz recording of all time.

The Auditorium Theatre had commissioned the “Sketches of Blue” concert as part of its citywide Miles Davis Festival, celebrating the 85th anniversary of the composer’s birth. This weekend, Orbert Davis will revive that concert at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, meaning listeners will get to hear Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic take another shot at some of the most intricate orchestral writing of Orbert Davis’ career.

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