5

Cava Menzies/Nick Phillips: Moment to Moment

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Hushed lyricism, noir-ish episodes and smoky scenarios are brought to mind with Moment To Moment. This gentle quartet outing is a product of the budding musical relationship between trumpeter Nick Phillips, a music business veteran who still finds time for his horn, and Cava Menzies, a music educator who lives a double life as a performing pianist.

While both artists are essentially moonlighting as musicians, the music they make never hints at that fact. Together, they turn in spellbinding, turn-the-lights-down-low ballad performances that call to mind Miles Davis-esque moodiness and Chet Baker-ish romanticism and longing. They don't try to refinish classics or create crazy-and-novel arrangements. They just focus on taking a tune, zoning in on its essence, and putting that out there at the center of the performance.

The program speaks to this duo's respect and reverence for the past and present, as they work their way through standards ("For All We Know"), originals ("Mal's Moon" and "You"), and a surprise or two (pianist Kenny Barron's "Phantoms). The Baker legacy is further referenced through a performance of Elvis Costello's "Almost Blue," a late-in-the-trumpeter's-life staple, but the connection is also obvious in plenty of other places.

Bassist Jeff Chambers and drummer Jaz Sawyer prove to be an ever-helpful and unobtrusive rhythm team, quietly providing the at-the-surface support that the music requires, but it's the co-leaders that draw in the ear from start to finish. Moment To Moment has no fireworks to offer or grand gestures to speak of, but it doesn't claim to have any such things. This is sit down, pour a drink, kick-your-heels-up-and-relax music that wins out with a less-is-more strategy.

Track Listing: The Peacocks; Mal's Moon; For All We Know; You; You Don't Know What Love Is; Almost Blue; Phantoms; Speak Low.

Personnel: Nick Phillips: trumpet; Cava Menzies: piano; Jeff Chambers: bass; Jazz Sawyer: drums.

Title: Moment to Moment | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read The Chase CD/LP/Track Review The Chase
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Paint CD/LP/Track Review Paint
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 16, 2017
Read A Pouting Grimace CD/LP/Track Review A Pouting Grimace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 15, 2017
Read Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis CD/LP/Track Review Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis
by Doug Collette
Published: October 15, 2017
Read "Left Right Left" CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Oração Para Amanhã (Prayer for Tomorrow)" CD/LP/Track Review Oração Para Amanhã (Prayer for...
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 10, 2017
Read "Do Not Go Gently" CD/LP/Track Review Do Not Go Gently
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 19, 2017
Read "Don't Blink" CD/LP/Track Review Don't Blink
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 4, 2017
Read "Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter" CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Live! Rancho Nicasio" CD/LP/Track Review Live! Rancho Nicasio
by James Nadal
Published: June 7, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.