Pete Mills: Fresh Spin (2007)
With Hammond B-3 ace Tony Monaco and guitarist Pete McCann onboard, the musical climate here is loaded with zestful motifs amid the soloists alternating exchanges. On "Eddie, Monaco embarks upon a vengeful tear by slamming his organ into overdrive. And in other spots, the musicians comp, dart and weaver around each other's often-torrid dialogues that tend to project a multi-layered and harmonious group-centric vibe.
"Crooked Cheese is a quirky funk romp, where Mills' edgy sax lines nicely contrast Monaco's silvery chord progressions. Nonetheless, the musicians mix it all up rather vibrantly. No doubt, a good time was had by all. And check out Mills' warmly penetrating choruses on the quiet duet with McCann on Billy Strayhorn's "A Flower is a Lovesome Thing.
In sum, the ensemble merges the best of many conceivable worlds. Chops-heavy, yet compositionally sound and focused, the artists' jovial camaraderie transcends the norm. Brimming with the essence of good cheer, Mills and crew communicate a distinct sense of musical merriment during the entirety of this impacting and irrefutably entertaining jaunt.
Track Listing: Straight Up; Eddie; Fossil; Too Close to Call; Schlooze; Diggin' on Dexter; Crooked Cheese; Talkin' with the Tubs; Winter Rain; For a Beginning; A Flower is a Lovesome Thing.
Personnel: Pete Mills: tenor sax; Tony Monaco: Hammond B-3 organ; Pete McCann: guitar; Jim Rupp: drums; Andy Woodson: bass.
Record Label: Summit/Chicken Coup