All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
There's probably no better pianist working in the jazz mainstream today than Mulgrew Miller. The Mississippi native currently runs the jazz program at New Jersey's William Patterson University while maintaining a busy touring and recording schedule. Miller has come into his own as a leader in recent years after notable stints with Art Blakey, Woody Shaw and Tony Williams, among others.
This live trio recording from Washington, DC's Kennedy Center closely (perhaps too closely) follows the format of his previous two outings for the label, both live dates from Yoshi's jazz club in Oakland. But the new disc also shares the all-around excellence of the earlier efforts.
A powerhouse player who fits stylistically about halfway between McCoy Tyner and Oscar Peterson, Miller is capable of stunning virtuosity, as on the opening standard "If I Should Lose You, which begins in tranquility before Miller and his exceptional bandmates, bassist Derrick Hodge and drummer Rodney Green, shift into overdrive, creating whirlwinds of sound but remaining fully in control. A pair of fine Miller originals follow: "When I Get There, which draws on Miller's blues and gospel roots, and "From Day to Day, which highlights his more adventurous modern side.
While he's known mostly for the muscularity of his playing, Miller has a gentle touch with a ballad, which he showcases on Hoagy Carmichael's "Skylark. The set closes with an impressive breakneck run through Charlie Parker's "Relaxin' At Camarillo.
Track Listing: If I Should Lose You; When I Get There; From Day To Day; Skylark; Relaxin' At Camarillo.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.