Bassist, trumpeter, and composer Les July, has released his latest CD,"The Adventures of LJ Horn:, which is "dedicated to the continuation of the music Miles Davis was making in his latter years, where his trumpet was featured in different genres of music.
According to July, "22 years is a long time NOT to play an instrument. but that is exactly how long it had been before July decided to return to the instrument he started playing when he was 5 years old. Getting braces at 13 made the trumpet a very difficult instrument to play so July switched to the bass and the guitar. Eventually he began making a living as a bassist, and started working with artists of all genres from Nile Rodgers to k.d. Lang to Dr. Dre to Slash. In 1991, July was close to auditioning for Miles Davis. Unfortunately, Miles died before that ever happened and that is the main reason this record came to exist."
"A few years ago, Vince Wilburn, Miles nephew & drummer, invited July to a ceremony honoring Miles at Guitar Center in Hollywood. When he left the ceremony, he passed a music store, saw a trumpet in the window and bought it. He had not played in 22 years but felt a new beginning about to happen. Les thought about where Miles was musically before he died and how he brought the trumpet into modern pop & rock music. He also looked around and saw that no one else had picked up on this concept so he then decided to carry that torch. But first, he had to learn to play again.
“The Adventures of L.J. Horn” traces July’s journey back to playing the trumpet while writing songs in a variety of genres to showcase the voice and concept Miles had left. July related to the years Miles had spent away from the trumpet as well and also had medical setbacks that further delayed him being able to play. This record is an evolution and a real tribute to the music Miles made in the last 10 years of his life. Although covering and blending many genres and styles, it is a complete, well balanced cohesive work that works from beginning to end. The material is all original and if you loved Miles, you will love this record..."
“The Adventures of L.J. Horn” is an instrumental labor of love, an inspired, "Tutu" flavored homage to both Miles, and his father, and a welcome return to his jazz-rock roots. The infectious grooves of "Clocked" and "Black Roses" are a few of my personal favorites; the muted tones of "Waiting for You" and "Dreamland", were both passionate nods to Miles, as were the very funky "Karma Shira"and "What Now?", which was followed up nicely by July's pastoral ballad, "On the Water".
May the adventures continue for Mr. L.J. Horn.
E. Doctor Smith is a musician and recording artist with Edgetone Records, who has worked with the likes of Brian Eno, Madonna, Warren Zevon, Mickey Hart and many others. He is also the Arts & Entertainment editor for Beyond Chron and inventor of the musical instrument, the Drummstick.