Jim McNeely: Boneyard (2006)
While the piano is usually the center of attention in a trio setting with bass and drums, McNeely shares the spotlight with bassist Sill, with drummer Spencer preferring more of a background role. They come out blazing with a very unusual interpretation of "Speak Low that utilizes Latin rhythm and adds vamps at regular intervals, with McNeely maintaining it for Spencer's solo. Likewise, Dizzy Gillespie's "Con Alma and Dave Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweet Way are stunningly recast. McNeely's two originals include the swirling post-bop vehicle "For Manny and the hustling "Ernie Banks (honoring the longtime all-star who played his entire career with the Chicago Cubs). Sill's two pieces, the understated "A Sense of Fairness and the glistening ballad "Naomi, also earn high marks. A remarkable CD too long in coming.
Track Listing: Speak Low; Con Alma; In Your Own Sweet Way; For Manny; Fe Fi Fo Fum; A Sense of Fairness; Naomi; Ernie Banks; In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.
Personnel: Jim McNeely: piano; Kelly Sill: bass; Joel Spencer: drums.
Record Label: Origin Records