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A pair of ace session men join up and call forth the Soul of John Black

The Soul of John Black, released about six months ago, is still very much under the radar, despite critical praise. Bigham says that there are about 15 songs in the can for their next release, which he promises will sound quite different from the elastic grooves on the debut. "People are going to be blown away," he offers. "The bottom line for us is that you have to create music that keeps you interested. The record that's out now is just an experiment that seemed to catch on."

Which brings us back to Bigham's mentor. If anything, Miles Davis was unafraid of challenging people's perceptions of his music, whether it meant dipping into sentimental show tunes, cutting-edge bebop, fusing jazz with rock or embracing rap and hip-hop. Bigham hopes that his band can emulate Davis's wayward muses.

Dr. Dre, Eminem, Fishbone and Miles Davis lurk in the 
musical past of the Soul of John Black.
Dr. Dre, Eminem, Fishbone and Miles Davis lurk in the musical past of the Soul of John Black.

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"I know that he intimidated a lot of people, but he also said a lot of hilariousstuff," Bigham remembers, before going into an approximation of Davis's distinctive raspy voice. "If you were bragging on yourself, he'd sit back and say, 'Okay, let's see what you've got.' He felt that you had to prove yourself, and that's what I hope that we do."

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