David Sills: Journey Together
Two Getz You Four. Yes, Mr. Sills has listened to a good bit of Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and Joe Henderson (it's about time someone cited him as an influence!). But what I hear is a beautiful Stan Getz spirit and tone. Not simply imitation, but an essence like fine cologne that lingers. But, Getz is not all I hear. I detect the great Warne Marsh, some Lee Konitz and a smidgen of Paul Desmond and Early Art Pepper (regardless of sax register). Sills has a warm, full-bodied, obedient tone and playing mode. His compositions and arrangements smack of the '50s West Coast Jazz of Bill Perkins, Shorty Rogers, and Bud Shank, strained through the '80s and '90s filter of Joe Henderson.
Conversin' With The Elders. Indeed, Sills represents his influences with "Soul Eyes" (a long-time Getz vehicle), "Inner Urge" (one of Henderson's best compositions, second only to "Isotope"). Sills adds his own compositions, in the vein of his influences. "Mai Lien" is melodically angular like the Tristano opener and "The Ho Chi Minh Hustle" is appealingly complex, more of that West Coast Cool. No vibrato, only clean, well-enunciated notation. Lester Young evolution with an edge.
Naxos Jazz continues to release better and better music. Considering that they started with superb music and musicians to begin with, I am excited to see where the music and company are going. I have listened to enough, that I find myself preferring the challenge of the music Naxos Jazz is bringing to the market place when compared to the major labels. David Sills recording is just my cup of tea, and Naxos Jazz has many other appealing blends.
Track Listing: 317 East 32nd Street, Mai Lien, Soul Eyes, Inner Urge, Aliya, Ho chi Minh Hustle, We'll Be Together Again, where It's At, Journey Together.
Personnel: David Sills: Tenor Saxophone; Larry Koonse: Guitar; Alan Broadbent: piano; Darek Oles: bass; Joe La Barbera: drums.