Cornetist Ron Miles has released “Queen of the South” from his upcoming Blue Note Records debut, Rainbow Sign.
The idyllic mid-tempo cut takes inspiration from Ethiopian pop, Miles said. He wrote Rainbow Signs while caring for his father, who passed in 2018. “I became more of a caregiver to him,” he said in a statement. “I was so happy that we made it all the way around, and that he was able to know before he passed just how much he was loved.”
The new record is steeped in both jazz and blues music. The blues, Miles said, was “the first music that really gets to the point for Black people about possibilities. Before that, the possibilities were very limited: you could go to heaven, but you weren’t going to travel. With Rainbow Sign, we have music that is true to the blues, yet it reflects the times we’re in right now while still showing us what’s possible.”
For Rainbow Sign, Miles worked with the same all-star band that played on his 2017 LP I am a Man: pianist Jason Moran, guitarist Bill Frisell, bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Brian Blade.
Rainbow Sign will arrive on October 9 via Blue Note Records. Listen to “Queen of the South” below: