It's difficult enough keeping up with the many new jazz piano trio offerings. So, when you come across G.F. Mlely, who has a recording history going back to 1979, it's a bit puzzling that someone so prolific has been so unknown. As a jazz composer and pianist, avant-garde choral composer, author of essays on jazz writing and both student and instructor of jazz composition and theory, this resident of Honolulu, Hawaii has a busy agenda.
The bulk of this album was recorded in 1991 with West Coast musicians Markus and Stone. Mlely's "Invention 2 in the 8-Tone Quarto-Modes" was taped last year as a solo example of his advanced sense of composition. This is his third album for Jazcraft and the 2001 Re-Entry session marked his return to the studio after ten years due to a health problem relating to an accident. In consideration of the age of these tracks, it's a shame that they're only coming to light at this time.
Mlely devotes a fair amount of writing here in a jazz waltz mode. The title tune is played brightly and coupled with "Words We Say" and the more somber "Thornbird" present him as someone influenced by the modal school of piano jazz like Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock and give drummer Gene Stone an opportunity for some nifty brush work. The straightfoward up-tempo tunes "Berkeley Sprung" and "It's Not the End" are played more as "set closers" and give the fleet fingered Bill Markus some solo opportunities. Throughout, G.F. Mlely proves to be an interesting composer, supremely confident jazz pianist who is comfortable in several mainstream settings and someone who is ready to take on the big bucks piano guys.
Track Listing: A Little Night Waltz, Berkeley Sprung, Words We Say, Thornbird, Invention 2 in the 8-Tone Quarto-Modes(piano alone), It's Not the End, Village Scene
Personnel: G.F.Mlely,piano; Bill Markus, bass; Gene Stone,percussion
The first jazz record I received
as a visiting gift from my
Japanese uncle at his
international division of
Toshiba EMI Tokyo was a
sample copy of Miles Davis'
Bitches Brew. A game
changer redirecting my
browsing habits and collection.