Schapiro17: New Shoes: Kind Of Blue At 60
Review by Willard Manus

I recently spent the best two hours of my life listening to SCHAPIRO17: NEW SHOES: KIND OF BLUE AT 60. The two-disc album, the brainchild of composer/conductor/arranger Jon Schapiro, pays tribute to Miles Davis' iconic CD, "Kind of Blue, which has just celebrated its 60th anniversary. Schapiro, a member of the BMI Jazz Composers' Workshop and a long-time professor at Yeshiva University, has headed a big band since 2012. Based in NYC, the band features such stalwart jazz musicians as Brian Davis, Walter Harris, Roberta Piket and Candace DeBartolo--all of whom strut their stuff on SCHAPIRO17.

Schapiro has not just re-arranged five key tunes from "Kind of Blue"--"So What," "Blue in Green." "All Blues," "Flamenco Sketches" and "Freddie Freeloader"--but interspersed them with six original tunes, all called "Boiled Funk." The result is a score that unites old and new in a fresh-sounding, truly original way.

Some of the tunes on SCHAPIRO17 run for as long as 12 and 14 minutes; others make a statement in less than 3 minutes. At all times, though, the band stays true to the spirit of "Kind of Blue" and to the genius of Miles Davis.

(Summit Records,