All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Cava Menzies/Nick Phillips: Moment to Moment

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
This feels like a chance ramble off of dimly lit streets into a wee hours night club; and the quartet—trumpet, piano, bass and drums—has slipped into a blue mood. A few notes from the muted horn, a half a dozen supple touches of the piano keys sets the introspective and melancholy tone for the evening. The bassist pulls deep, deliberate sounds from the strings; the drummer brushes up a hushed whisper, and in a corner booth a teardrop falls into a strong drink.

Pianist Cava Menzies and trumpeter Nick Phillips have crafted a gorgeously retro-classic sound on Moment to Moment. It's all ballads, heavy on the tear jerkers: "You Don't Know What Love Is," Elvis Costello's "Almost Blue," Jimmy Rowles' "The Peacocks." On a blind fold test, a good guess might be: "Chet Baker, maybe, or someone who listened to a lot of Chet. The pianist? I don't know. It's an original approach—concise, not a lot of notes, but every one seems to mean something profound; and I love what the bassist and drummer are doing, with that old school understatement and subtle grace."

Menzies and Phillips are both players with "day jobs," pretty much the norm for jazz artists these days, the Methenys and the Mehldaus aside. Menzies, daughter of trumpet great Eddie Henderson, teaches music. Phillips is a long time staff producer and Vice President for the Concord Music Group. He co-produced Moment to Moment with Menzies, and they did a stellar job of it. It has what the best albums have—a sustained mood, beautiful sound quality, well chosen material, and great musicians who have clicked as a group and slipped into a cohesive ensemble groove.

Jazz Standards and the Great American Songbook classics are joined here by a lovely Menzies's tune, "Mal's Moon," along with one from Phillips, an uplifting ode, "You," featuring the trumpeter's soft, rich, open horn tone. And let's pick (no easy task on this CD) a standout: the group's take on pianist Kenny Barron's "Phantoms" drifts in a timeless dimension of sound, spooky and surreal, like something out of one of your stranger dreams.

A fabulous CD, the kind that find their way onto the "Best of Year" lists.

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


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Peaks of Light CD/LP/Track Review
Peaks of Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 18, 2018
Read In Denmark I Was Born CD/LP/Track Review
In Denmark I Was Born
by Gareth Thompson
Published: March 18, 2018
Read In Copenhagen - Live at Jazzhus Slukefter 1983 CD/LP/Track Review
In Copenhagen - Live at Jazzhus Slukefter 1983
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 18, 2018
Read A Year Ago Today CD/LP/Track Review
A Year Ago Today
by Doug Collette
Published: March 18, 2018
Read Dreams of Belonging CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams of Belonging
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 18, 2018
Read Ravensburg CD/LP/Track Review
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 17, 2018
Read "The Wishing Stones" CD/LP/Track Review The Wishing Stones
by John Kelman
Published: November 28, 2017
Read "Destinations" CD/LP/Track Review Destinations
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2017
Read "Scratches Of Spain" CD/LP/Track Review Scratches Of Spain
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 9, 2017
Read "Stax Singles, Vol. 4: Rarities & Best of the Rest" CD/LP/Track Review Stax Singles, Vol. 4: Rarities & Best of the Rest
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 25, 2018
Read "Such A Sky" CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Aladdin's Dream" CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017