Butch Miles

Decades Active: 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s


Charles Thornton, 4 July 1944, Ironton, Ohio, USA. After playing the drums as a small child, Miles later studied music in college. As a teenager, he played with a rock band, but his admiration for Gene Krupa inclined him towards jazz drumming. Resident in Charleston, West Virginia, he began playing with small jazz groups and in 1972 became Mel Tormé’s regular drummer. In 1975, he left Tormé and offered his services to Count Basie. When Basie’s drummer, Ray Porello, was injured in a road accident, Miles deputized for a week and stayed for four and a half years (in the late 90s he would reunite with the Orchestra, under the direction of Grover Mitchell). In 1979, he joined Dave Brubeck, playing on Back Home, and the following year was backing Tony Bennett. In the 80s Miles worked extensively with small groups, sometimes as leader, accompanying such artists as Gerry Mulligan, Al Cohn, Buddy Tate, Bucky Pizzarelli, Glenn Zottola, Scott Hamilton...

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