"The very first thing I remember in my childhood is a flame, a blue flame jumping off a gas stove somebody lit […] I felt fear, real fear, for the first time in my life. But I remember it also likes some kind of adventure, some kind of weird joy, too. I guess that experience took me someplace in my head I hadn't been before. To some frontier, the edge, maybe, of everything possible." -- Miles Davis

On his 50th birthday, the US-based Italian textile entrepreneur Franco Nannucci held a fundraising concert in 2016, of which he raised more than 60,000 dollars for the Fabrizio Meoni Onlus foundation. He didn't expect but this act later led to several humanitarian projects around the world and an award-winning record label M4L. On its fifth anniversary, the label released a jazz/world charity compilation, Music For Love Vol. 1 (2021), consisting of musical donations from 29 world-renowned musicians. The Marley family, the Petrucciani family, and the Miles Davis family all gave their blessings to this non-profit music project.

"Dreaming Miles" is one of the three tunes that set the tone of Music For Love Vol. 1. The tune is a realization of a dream Franco Nannucci had for long. "Textile is in my DNA and music is my passion," said Nannucci. As a person who looks up the jazz great Miles Davis, Nannucci always had the idea to make a song in dedication to his idol. The encounter with Stefano De Donato, the founder and bassist of famous Italian funk band Dirotta su Cuba, and later on the music producer and director of M4L finally made it possible.

"Don't call my music jazz. It's social music," Miles Davis said in an interview in 1985. Inherited from his father, the great jazz composer, bandleader, and trumpeter had an attitude towards most things. His rational and critical thinking also resulted in constant learning and moving forward. "I wanted to see what was going on in all of music," Miles Davis said in his autobiography, “knowledge is freedom and ignorance is slavery.” Unlike most jazz musicians at his time who were bond to one specific genre and musical style, Miles was always on the edge of everything. From his clothing style to the constant evolvement of sounds and techniques, he stayed "the hippest" in his own words. "Musicians have to play the instruments that best reflect the time they're in," said Miles, "play the technology that will give you what you want to hear." M4L shares the same vision and builds its music concept upon this core idea of moving forward.

"Dreaming Miles" came together naturally with a signature Stefano De Donato slapping rhythmic, funky bassline and post-bop trumpeter Fabrizio Bosso's improvisation. The tune recalls the Arabic impression from Sketches of Spain, at the same time evoking memories of when Miles began to fill up space with synthesized sound in In a Silent Way and the rock n roll, funk influence in Live – Evil after Jimi Hendrix's sudden death. Instead of lingering in the past, "Dreaming Miles" takes a step further into modern technology and music production. The combination of modern sampling techniques and the smooth, controlled passages on trumpet adds more interesting texture and imagery. The tune has the "hippest" sound that belongs to this century—a bold attempt and imagination of what Miles Davis would have been doing if he was alive.

"When you're creating your own shit, man, even the sky ain't the limit," said Miles Davis. In the era of independent artists, Music For Love is bringing musicians together and manifesting unity through music. Social music contains an important message and affirmation: music without border, and a world with good vibes. In collaboration with Ghetto Youth Foundation founded and directed by Stephen, Damian, and Julian Marley and Fabrizio Meoni Onlus Foundation, Music For Love, the non-profit record label, donates 100 percent of its profit to children in extreme poverty. The dream is big, but together, we make changes step by step.


Katrina Yang