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.
Liam Sillery invited David Sills to join him on his excellent debut from last year, Minor Changes (OA2). This time out, on his second set as a leader, the New York-based trumpeter/flugelhornist hooks up with the Los Angeles-based player's working quartet: Sills (tenor sax), Joe Bagg (organ), Larry Koonse (guitar) and Tim Pleasant (drums). The two front-line players split the composing chores; four tunes come from Sillery's pen and four more from Sills, along with a classic cover tune, "Ceora," from the late trumpeter and Blue Note artist Lee Morgan.
The words "Blue Note" are key here. As on Minor Changes, On the Fly is steeped in the mainstream traditionthe Joe Henderson/Hank Mobley sound, a quintet with two horns in front. The main different this time out is that Sillery and Sills are working in front of an organ trio, giving the grooves a more airy and buoyant feeling, a smoother and cooler flow.
The set is a great argument for working with a working group. There's an easy rolling sympatico to the music, a lubricated, clicked-into-the-groove feeling often missing in "thrown together band" studio recordings. At times Sillery and Sills seemingly read each other's minds.
There's no sophomore jinx lurking around here. This top-level set is full of strong compositions and vibrant musicianship, putting some modern juice and a bunch of inspired soloing into the straight-ahead mode. And Joe Bagg's organ workfor example, his briskly succinct turn on Sillery's "Neptune"is classic stuff.
Track Listing: On the Fly; Bicycle Ride; Fontok; Down the Line; Sloe Joe; Neptune; Two Time Blues; Mai Lien;
Personnel: Liam Sillery: trumpet and flugelhorn; David Sills: tenor saxphone; Joe Bagg: organ; Larry
Koonse: guitar; Tim Pleasant: drums.
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.