189

Michael Musillami: Old Tea

Lyn Horton By

Sign in to view read count
Michael Musillami: Old Tea
Guitarist Michael Musillami has seized onto the meaning of irreplaceable moments with Old Tea, dedicated to his 29-year-old son, who took his own life on March 10, 2009. In an extraordinarily touching story, Musillami's liner notes say what cannot be said musically. But the music, executed by his outstanding regular trio, expresses more than can be verbalized.

Bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller take on Musillami's music with a sensitivity befitting the celebration of human life. The record is concerned with continuity and the transformation of colors. Only one break between tracks is noticeable; the music flows, as one instrument's sound interweaves with and yields to another.

"Introduction" finds guitar opening in skillful pizzicato form, with a backdrop of bowed bass and the tinkling of small chimes, reverently laying the groundwork for the unfolding of Musillami's compositions, starting with the title track. Musillami's guitar playing reflects an internal world, expanding and contracting from stepped-up rhythmic melodies and poignant tunefulness to fiery amplified surges within the same musicscape.

Fonda and Schuller are completely engrossed in the tide of musical changes. In several solo interludes, Fonda can be heard vocalizing, emphasizing his own playing, which, in itself, bears great presence as his lithe fingers lay out themes, bend pitches and craft figures that maintain pace with Musillami's thoroughly masterful rendering of phrases. Schuller's drumming speaks endless waves of rhythm and atmosphere. He snaps his brushes accurately and wields his sticks with character and steadiness.

The closing track echoes the opening, as the guitar and bass interact and the cymbals hiss. Fonda switches to flute to play an appropriately heavy-hearted coda.

Track Listing

Introduction; Old Tea; Shiner At Rocky's; The Binary Smirk (Drum Interlude); King Alok; Kitchen Tribute (Collective Interlude); Evy-Boy; A True Original; Jameson #30 (Bass Interlude); Umbrella Top...That's How I Roll; Three Hundred Plus.

Personnel

Michael Musillami: guitar; Joe Fonda: bass and flute; George Schuller: drums.

Album information

Title: Old Tea | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Playscape Recordings

Post a comment about this album

Tags

View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

Live in Hawaii
Doug MacDonald
Lost in a Dream
Kristin Callahan
The Painter
Tobias Meinhart
Strollin'
Monaco, Meurkens, Hoyson, Lucas
Aufbruch
J. Peter Schwalm / Markus Reuter
Cool With That
East Axis

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.