David Myles channels his love for jazz and soul on new instrumental album

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That Tall Distance is set to arrive in August. Hear the first single, Bird Song, streaming now.

Matt Carter

David Myles is a lucky guy. Over the course of his career he has found success by continuously trying new things and pushing himself in new directions. Whether he’s on stage playing with his trio or a full band, hosting radio shows, or podcasts, to refining and reinventing his musical vision by following his muse down any number of new avenues, Myles, as an artist, follows his creativity with admirable confidence. Knowing this, it should come as little surprise that his forthcoming album is an instrumental jazz/soul project.  I mean, it only makes sense right?

“This is an expression of my love for instrumental jazz, funk and soul,” said Myles, announcing the album’s debut single, Bird Song. “As a young trumpet player, I loved stuff like Donald Byrd, Grant Green, Herbie Hancock and Freddie Hubbard. They had great compositions with these awesome solos floating on top of super heavy grooves. I loved it. Like those great recordings, I wanted to write songs that were strong enough to be able to hold everything together, but loose enough for there to be lots of room for the other players to really dig in and express themselves. That was the key for me.” 

Bringing together Joshua Van Tassel, Andrew Jackson, Leith Fleming-Smith, Asa Brosius, and Dean Drouillard to create a virtual band, That Tall Distance features nine tracks, each recorded in isolation.

“It’s pretty wild really, that we made this whole thing without ever being in the same room,” Myles said. “I’d start by recording a structure, usually with guitar and trumpet, treating each song like a jazz standard. I’d play out the main melody, leaving room for solos, and structuring each song with lots of room for improvisation. My job was to create the vessel in which the players could let loose.”

The album’s first single, Bird Song, is a smooth moving work of theme and variation, full of open space and colourful tones, hand claps and effortless interplay that defies the perceived limits of made-in-isolation albums. Hidden amongst the array of instrumental voicing that defines this album opener, Myles can be heard humming out the main theme, a tasteful choice that adds to the visual image of a large studio full or players seated before music stands overflowing with scores and on-the-fly notes, even though we know that’s not the case at all.

That Tall Distance arrives August 27.

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