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The Lady Plays A Tenor. Cercie Miller Swings. She swings while playing a saxophone with a tone straight down the middle of Sonny Rollins cum Michael Brecker. She plays and composes with much soul as heard on her own “Wake Up Call” and bassist Dave Clark’s “Sister of Brotherly Love” (which includes a Tiger Okoshi a la Freddie Hubbard-Clifford Brown trumpet chorus). Bassist Clark solos slow on ballad “Near Elm”. Pianist Ray provides a very cool intro to the Miller originals “Southerland’s Muse” and “ The Night I Met Eddie Palmieri” (Okoshi returning on the latter) while Bob Savine supports with some impressive change-time drumming on both tunes. This is a disc where the originals definitely shine brighter than the standards. Miller’s composing, while mainstream, barely adheres to the edge of the genre, often swinging out into a more contemporary orbit. Okoshi provides the brass on a fast and jagged “Walkin’”. “Mood Indigo” soulful and lamenting.
Cercie Miller is a breath of fresh air. Her composing is provocative and her playing proves she can play with the best. Blue Vistas is highly recommended.
Track Listing: Blue Vistas; Sister Of Brotherly Love; Wake Up Call; Near Elm; Southerland
Personnel: Cercie Miller: Saxophones; Tim Ray: Piano; David Clark: Bass; Bob Savine: Drums; Tiger Okoshi: Trumpet.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.