Ben Ratliff describes the music on Figurations (Sunnyside), which is the most recent release from the guitarist Miles Okazaki, as “slowly evolving puzzles of brilliant jazz logic, worked out among some new-model brains.” The album made it onto Ratliff’s Best of 2012 shortlist in The New York Times. In 2009, Vijay Iyer listed Generations (Sunnyside) – another of Miles’ releases – among his top ten albums of 2009 in ArtForum, offered a similar characterization: “a recursively structured, fractally detailed labyrinth of music — the sonic equivalent of Escher or Borges, but with real emotional heft.”
Characterized as “an exceedingly skilled guitarist with a head for rhythmic convolution” by The New York Times, Miles was raised in Port Townsend, Washington. He holds degrees from Harvard, Manhattan School of Music, and Juilliard, and was the 2nd place finalist in the 2005 Thelonious Monk Guitar Competition. He has honed his skills in bands led by Stanley Turrentine, Kenny Barron, and Steve Coleman, among others.
We’ve presented Miles numerous times since 2007, including the CD release concerts for all three of his albums. Additionally, the music on Figurations was commissioned by The Jazz Gallery during our 2011 Residency Commissions series, and the album was recorded live on our stage during the premiere concert. This Friday, we welcome Miles to our new stage (1160 Broadway, 5th floor) with a quartet featuring the bassist Hans Glawischnig, the drummer Dan Weiss, and the reedist Ben Wendel.