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It’s not easy, during times like these, to see the light poking through the darkness. Every day we are bombarded by more bad news—fear and hopelessness get the better of us, and despair can overshadow love and optimism.
Music is the antidote to all that. From the beginning of time, human beings have used music to spread joy and positivity, to connect with one another and face our challenges together. Music helps us bond, to remember that—despite our fears and pessimism—we are, still, truly all one.
A song, from any corner of the globe, fast or slow, instrumental or vocal, slotting into any genre, has power. It can transform us, turn a sour disposition into a joyful one, get us to dancing and singing and…perhaps, most important of all, smiling.
Jason Miles, the veteran producer/keyboardist/composer—whose credits run the gamut from numerous diverse solo works to collaborations with Miles Davis, Luther Vandross, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson and others—was thinking about the power of music when he conjured up an idea for a new project. The result: “Pretty World,” a newly reimagined interpretation of a song originally recorded by Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 in the late 1960s.
It may have been come from another time and place, with different circumstances dominating the public consciousness, but some things never change.
“I was on YouTube just cruising around when I came upon the ‘Pretty World’ video by Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66,” says Miles. “The song was written by Antonio Adolfo and Tiberio Gaspar, with English lyrics by Marilyn and Alan Bergman, and the original recording featured the amazing vocalist Lani Hall with Karin Philipp putting across a beautiful vibe. I said to myself, ‘I need to re-record this song and give it a modern kick, and maybe bring some smiles to people, get across this message, which is so simple but so beautiful.’”
Miles got to work. Serving as producer and arranger, as well as supplying the keyboards and synth bass, he recruited the brilliant Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo, lead vocalist Pamela Driggs, Emily Bindiger to sing background vocals, and Steven Wolf to handle the drum programming. The track was mixed by Jimmy Bralower and Miles, and mastered by Mike Fossenkemper.“
The result is this beautiful song that I am extremely proud of,” says Miles. “Ropeadope Records is releasing it, and there will be a video accompanying it, with beautiful images and colors—Karin Haslinger, who designed the cover, is putting together the video.
”Best of all, he adds, “All of the proceeds collected for this song will be donated to the newly formed Jazz Coalition, a collective of industry professionals, musicians and supporters that identifies needs affecting the jazz and improvised music community and strategizes response solutions and opportunities. They will be distributing money through scholarships to musicians in need. This is the best I can do to give back and try to make a little difference in this world.
“The world is a very sad place right now,” Miles continues. “I remember in the 1960s we had some difficult times as well: Vietnam, social unrest, assassinations and murders. But there was one thing that kept us together: music made by some great artists. The theme, most of the time, was love and happiness, meeting a girl or a boy and hope for the future. In 2020 we don’t have that anymore,” he concludes. “We don’t have those great pop songs about love and hopefulness, and we are fighting a global pandemic and, again, social unrest. I felt I had to do something to try and give the world a song that would put a smile on faces—even if it’s just for a short time.”
A musical pioneer who has worked on some of the most important music and artists in Jazz,pop and RnB over the last 45
years..Miles Davis Luther Vandross,Sting among the many. He set the bar very high with his work on Miles Davis’s groundbreaking album TuTu..he is a Grammy winning producer and has also been nominated 3 times..with his new album Black Magic he takes the groove to the next place...more