David Sills is back and Getzian as ever, with a bit of Monk thrown in.
I considered David Sills debut on Naxos Jazz, Journey Together , to be one of the finest sessions released by that label since its inception. He had a definite Getzian lilt with a pretty large helping of Lester Young added to the mix. That disc was released in 1999 and what a difference two years has made. Sills's latest, Bigs, sounds fully matured compared to his freshman effort and that is saying a lot considering that his first recording was so excellent. Outstanding here are Sills's originals. "Bigs" opens the disc with nine minutes of hard-swinging Wayne Shorter Hard Bop. Sills's follow this with his very Monkian "Shark-eez", where he and guitarist Larry Koonse absolutely tear it up. Sills returns to his Getz roots on "Zingaro," a Jobim standard that recalls Getz's Bossa Nova days. Sills's horn is light as a feather floating on a breeze as is Koonse's strings.
"Grunions" is the closest thing to Be Bop workout I have heard from Sills. The head is a little complex jewel that does not let the listener catch his/her breath before launching into searing solos by Sills, Koonse, and Broadbent. Broadbent, for his part, supports Sills impeccably, while providing the session two originals the bouncing Bop of "Waiting for Charlie" and the strolling balladry of "Mahindo." Bigs is one of the finer Naxos products I have heard recently. I will be looking forward to more from David Sills
Personnel: David Sills: Tenor Saxophone; Larry Koonse: Guitar; Piano: Alan Broadbent; Derek Oles: Bass; Joe LaBarbarera: Drums.