When I was still in Chicago, I worked with a guy named Robert Irving III, while I was employed by Guitar Center. "Baabe" as he was nicknamed had played keyboards for Miles Davis during the 80s. Robert produced two Miles Davis albums ("Decoy" and "You're Under Arrest").
During that time, I had the opportunity to play some of my original instrumental music. To my pleasure, he agreed to write a letter of recommendation for my music when I asked him to do so. (As Jesus said, "Ask and you shall receive." If you don't ask, people rarely ever volunteer to write such letters.)
To get an idea of the musical talents Robert Irving III had, and why Miles Davis deemed him worthy of working for him as his "Musical Director", check out the following web addresses, including some YouTube videos of the band in concert.
Note: I'm running out of time at the Internet cafe, so I'll add more links to this post later.
The following text was copied and pasted from the following web site: http://jazzzology.blogspot.com/2009/08/robert-baabe-irving-iii-jazz-homage-to.html. It pertains to a concert I attended while still living in Chicago.
The Jazz Institute of
Chicago presents "Sketches of Brazil: Robert
Irving III's Orchestral Homage to Miles and Gil" in Chicago and its
free!!! I have been a fan of "Baabe" for a long time and have seen him
play/conduct at various venues around Chicago...he never fails to delight and
this event should be another one he delivers on with his unique brand of
"musicality"...don't miss this!
Thursday, August 13th
Millennium Park: Jay Pritzker Pavilion
and educator Robert Irving III conducts the newly formed Sonic Portraits
Orchestra in the world premiere of Sketches of Brazil, an orchestral homage to
his mentors, Miles Davis and Gil Evans. The concert features Robert Irving III
(composer, conductor, piano); Sonic Portraits Orchestra (a blend of 33 classical
and jazz musicians); Wallace Roney (trumpet, flugelhorn); Fareed Haque (guitar),
Dede Sampaio (percussion), Felipe Fraga (percussion), Charles Heath (percussion)
and Miles Evans (trumpet).
Special panel: Earlier that day from noon to
1:30 pm, the Chicago Cultural Center hosts a panel "50 Years from Sketches of
Spain to Sketches of Brazil: A Symposium on the legacy of Miles Davis & Gil
Evans" in the Claudia Cassidy Theater. Admission is free and open to the public.
Professor Fareed Haque moderates a conversation with Sketches of Brazil
composer/arranger Robert Irving III. Additional panelists include Wallace Roney,
Vince Wilburn Jr. (nephew of Miles Davis), Miles Evans (son of Gil Evans), Dede
Sampaio and Felipe Fraga.
http://secretjazz.com/baabe.htm contains more detailed information re: Baabe Irving III.