“Discover a jazz treasure. Miles Donahue is one of the best-kept jazz secrets. Equally adept on trumpet and various saxophones and a composer of grace and originality...”
- Grammy Award Winning Boston Globe Jazz Critic Bob Blmenthal
Miles Donahue’s jazz career did not begin in earnest until the age of 45, although in the 60’s he performed at many venues with his own group that featured Harvey Swartz, Jerry Bergonzi, Charlie Banacos, Nick Goumas and Jack Diefendorf. One of these concerts in 1972, performed with Charlie Banacos and Jerry Bergonzi, became known as the famous Arlington Street Church Concert.
In the 1980s, Miles did two albums for which he wrote all the original material with New York Philharmonic flutist Paige Brook. These two albums were released on Tioch records.
In 1992, Miles first major recording as a jazz leader was released on Timeless Records. “Double Dribble” featured Kenny Werner, Bruce Gertz and George Schuller. A review of this recording in Saxophone Journal reads: “Very few musicians today have the diversity and hidden talents Miles Donahue possesses. His phrasing of tenor and trumpet, the harmonic sophistication he plays with and his ability to swing with incredible beauty, all lead to a master musician.This is one of the best CDs I’ve heard in years.”
In a Jazziz magazine review of “The Good Listener” on Ram records the reviewer says, “like Benny Carter and Ira Sullivan, Miles Donahue is a rare example of someone whose strong personality asserts itself without hesitation whether he’s picking up trumpet or saxophone.”
“Simple Pleasures,” released in 1998 (also on Ram Records), was Miles’ next recording. It featured Kenny Werner, George Garzone, Mick Goodrick, Billy Hart and Bruce Gertz.
Given the instability of the record industry, Miles has formed his own label, Amerigo Records and the first release, “In The Pocket”, features Fred Hersch, Jerry Bergonzi, Jamey Haddad, Kurt Rosenwinkle and Jay Anderson. It was released September 2001.
In an interview in Saxophone Journal, Jerry Bergonzi said:“Miles Donahue is one of my favorite cats because he plays so unique and fresh. Plus the thing of trumpet and sax. To this day I’ve never heard anyone play trumpet and tenor so balanced.”
Here is what Steve Greenlee (Boston Globe jazz critic) had to say about Miles Donahue’s latest project (a 4-album set of standards featuring more than 20 different musicians) “Wow, what a massive, impressive project.”