158

Miles Donahue: Pocket Prolific

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Multi-instrumentalist Miles Donahue certainly packs it in when it comes to recording. In 2003, he was inspired enough by the classic American songbook to release a set of four albums which he called Standards: Volumes I-IV. This time around he is more circumspect, releasing just two CDs simultaneously.

Donahue is no doubt a man of ideas. He writes with his focus on the mainstream, but he keeps his compositions diverse, a move that makes his work interesting. He adds further twists of flavour with the different line-ups he uses.

Miles Donahue
Bounce
Amerigo Records
2006

Bounce lives up to its name most of the way with "Rhap being one of the better representatives of the rhythm. Joey Calderazzo sets the flex, his piano lithe as he creates a welter of becoming patterns. Donahue is a robust player but he leaves enough room to manipulate and shape a melody. Evidence is seen on his flighty solo on the tenor saxophone with some interesting turns of phrase.

The title tune is a winner, casting a spell right from the first note. The melody evolves seamlessly on a Latin mood, but even as it is in sum a collective effort, the elongated phrasing of Donahue, the sparkling inventiveness of guitarist Norm Zocher and percussionist Pedro Ito enhance the framework. There are quiet spells too, best exemplified by "On The Street Where You Live. Donahue plays with warmth, his focus strongly on the melody, but he does build an interesting enough edifice on his improvisatory journey to complete the lure.
Miles Donahue
In the Pocket
Amerigo Records
2006

There is a completely different line-up on In The Pocket, and one which better serves the music. There's a different dimension and evolution on this consistently strong disc. One of the happiest outings jumps out when the band go "All The Way. Donahue takes the oldie and spins a catchy web, keeping the pulse ticking with agile invention. Be-bop is the call for "In The Pocket. Donahue is adept on the alto saxophone but the star turn belongs to Kurt Rosenwinkle. He plays the guitar with a marvellous sense of understanding and foresight, in a sequence of eloquent lyricism. Fred Hersch lends the palette to "Kelneka, painting gorgeous hues on the piano. This is most certainly a captivating tune. But leave it to Donahue to get into the angular, as he moves into a darker direction and lends added character to the tune.


Tracks and Personnel

Bounce

Tracks: Bounce; Uppy; Alone By Myself; Close To You; Rhap; Watch Where You're Going; On the Street Where You Live; Stabilize; Ditchdigger; Beautiful Dove.

Personnel: Miles Donahue: saxophone, flugelhorn; Adam Nussbaum: drums; Joey Calderazzo: piano; John Lockwood: bass; Jim Lattini: drums; John Patitucci: bass; Norm Zocher: guitar; Pedro Ito: percussion; Ernie Sola: bass clarinet, alto saxophone.

In The Pocket

Tracks: In The Pocket; Kelneka; McEljim; $ D's And A G; Emma's Song; Lights Out; All The Way; A Sometime Thing; Waitin' For The Ice Cream Man; In The Pocket; Emma's Song (reprise).

Personnel: Miles Donahue: tenor saxophone, trumpet, keyboards; Jamey Haddad: drums; Fred Hersch: piano; Jay Anderson: bass; Jerry Bergonzi: tenor sax; Ricardo Monzon: percussion; Kurt Rosenwinkle: guitar (1, 3, 6, 9); Dan Greenspan: bass (1, 9); John Paul: guitar (4).


Shop

More Articles

Read Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series Multiple Reviews Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2017
Read 440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights Multiple Reviews 440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 21, 2017
Read Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa Dos Ventos Multiple Reviews Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 17, 2017
Read Duke Ellington on Storyville Records Multiple Reviews Duke Ellington on Storyville Records
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 20, 2017
Read Lee Morgan On Music Matters Multiple Reviews Lee Morgan On Music Matters
by Greg Simmons
Published: March 6, 2017
Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago" Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Clouds and Stormy Nights: A New Pair from QFTF" Multiple Reviews Clouds and Stormy Nights: A New Pair from QFTF
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "NendoDango Records: Reinventing Tradition" Multiple Reviews NendoDango Records: Reinventing Tradition
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "New, Notable and Nearly Missed" Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "In Jazz We Trust: On The Politically Inspired Work Of Delfeayo Marsalis and Ted Nash" Multiple Reviews In Jazz We Trust: On The Politically Inspired Work Of...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 2, 2016
Read "440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights" Multiple Reviews 440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 21, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!