MGF Reviews DJ Logic and Jason Miles – Global Noize

DJ Logic and Jason Miles – Global Noize
Shanachie (4/29/08)
Jazz fusion / World (Middle Eastern / Spanish / African) / Jam

Global Noize is both the name of this album and the musical project surrounding it, something that turntablist/producer DJ Logic (né Jason Kibler) producer Jason Miles (who’s worked with artists including Miles Davis and Luther Vandross) have been working on for a while, as they finally see their artistic vision come to fruition with a star-studded debut album. And seeing as you’ve got two guys, one who earned his chops under the aforementioned Davis, and the other who’s collaborated with The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir and Medeski Martin & Wood, this is bound to be an adventure in mind-expansive world tunes.

“When I hear music I love I want to be involved with it,” Jason Miles has told reporters. “It would be boring for me to stay in one place musically so I love to explore different music. I know Miles Davis felt that way and I’m just trying to keep the grooves hot, the melodies great and collaborate with the best artists I know. Hopefully Logic and I will be bringing Global Noize to the world and show people our musical vision.”

Album opener “A Jam for Joe”, featuring Vernon Reid of Living Colour (who, by the way, are my favorite black metal band) lending some funky guitar alongside the vocals of R&B singer Me’shell Ndegéocello, has a bit of Red Hot Chili Peppers Lite going on, integrated with some jazz elements to make it a decent album opener, setting the tone for a relaxed set. It’s absolutely a jam, with a decidedly improvisational feel that’s just the bee’s knees.

“Spice Island”, featuring former P-Funk member Bennie Worrell on clavinet and keyboards, in much more straight-up jazz, with a five-minute jam akin to the sounds of Soulive and Karl Denson (from whom we’ll hear more later), and shows up again on the equally as funky “Pool of Honey”. “The Souk” integrates a bluesy element with John Popper’s (who is most recognizable as the singer of Blues Traveler, and with whom DJ Logic has previously collaborated, in the aptly titled John Popper Project Featuring DJ Logic) harmonica, which plays alongside a Middle-Eastern-style backing vocal by Falu (who appears again later on the short-but-sweet “Bollywood”) and murky jazz beat.

Brazilian singer Vanessa Fallabella makes an appearance on the sexy groove, “Quero Dancar”, which is a downtempo bossa nova tune that’s also quite danceable. Equally as sexy and danceable is the equally-Spanish-and-African-influenced “Dar’abesque” (a title which Miles and Logic took from a villa at which they stayed while recording in Morocco), which features a sensational cameo by legendary trumpeter Herb Alpert. And speaking of jazz legends, a couple of more contemporary ones make appearances in “Planetary Beat”, as Karl Denson (sans Tiny Universe) plays saxophone and flute, and A-list jazz fusion guitarist Dean Brown takes care of business in that department.

Trumpeter Christian Scott soars on cameos on both the sultry “Exotic Thoughts” and the more playful, jam-style “Spin Cycle”, so it’s no wonder Miles decided to put him on two tracks. “Christian Scott is one of the most exciting young artists on the scene,” Miles says. “He really stepped up and showed what a young cat at the beginning of his career has got going on.” The album closes out with a curveball of a track with “What I Know”, which manages to stay decidedly jazzy while having a spontaneous, Richard D. James sound to it.

Yes, as I mentioned earlier, this is chock full of mind-expansive and spontaneous jazzy world tracks, and a lot of the tracks go in completely different directions than those just before or after them. However, the production on Global Noize is so outstanding that Logic and Miles are able to keep it all tied together throughout the set, making it into a musical excursion that will hold the listener’s attention the entire time. This should appeal to fans of jazz, world and jam alike, and is certainly one of this year’s dark horse albums to watch at the end of the year.