50 Years since it's conception - Jon Hendricks’ masterful lyricisation of the legendary Miles Davis/Gil Evans album, MILES AHEAD, receives a February premiere in Manhattan. In the presence of the master wordsmith himself – Miles Ahead will be performed by the London Vocal Project (a 20-piece choir plus rhythm section), featuring special guest soloists - all of whom have a long and deep association with Jon and his music.
Propelled by the success of 'Sing a Song of Basie' - the seminal Lambert, Hendricks and Ross album, Jon Hendricks started work on his lyricisation of Miles Ahead almost fifty years ago. However, it was only in 2012 - over forty years later - that he began to collaborate closely with London Vocal Project director Pete Churchill who, with the support of the choir, has now helped to bring his creative dream to life.
Every note of both Miles Davis' distinctive solos and Gil Evans' ground-breaking big-band writing has been meticulously re-scored for voices with Jon's words imbuing each track with a new narrative. As this process, neared completion LVP began to immerse itself in the sound world of Gil Evans, memorizing the scores and capturing all the nuances of the original recording.
Exciting as the rehearsal process was, however, it started to become increasingly clear that Jon might never get to hear LVP sing his lifetime's work due to the geographical distance between them. This was when Pete decided to contact Quincy Jones - a lifelong friend of Jon Hendricks - and ask for his help. It is through Quincy's generosity and the support of the Jazz Foundation of America that LVP have been able to bring Miles Ahead home to New York to be performed in the presence of its creator, the great Jon Hendricks. The project Jon began almost fifty years ago, will finally be complete.
Looking ahead, LVP have been working hard in the studio putting the finishing touches to a recording of Jon Hendricks' Miles Ahead and it is due for release later this year. Furthermore, the European premiere performance, hopefully the first of many, has been scheduled in London for May 21st.
Venue: Saint Peter's Church,
619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street, New York, NY 10022
Date & timings: Friday 17th February 2017, 7.00pm (doors open at 6.30pm)