276

Rob Mullins: Standards & More

By

Sign in to view read count
Rob Mullins: Standards & More Listening to this album for the first time, I shouldn't have been surprised at Rob Mullins' straight-ahead jazz chops. To the best of my knowledge, this is the pianist/composer's first mainstream jazz album, but he has been quite prolific, recording sixteen albums since 1988. Mullins attended University of Northern Colorado, studied piano with George Russell in New York, and established his own label (RME). In addition to his own recordings as a smooth jazz bandleader, Mullins also recorded for Nova and Zebra Records and spent three years touring with the Crusaders (sitting on the piano bench vacated by Joe Sample). He has also worked with Branford Marsalis, Kirk Whalum and the Rippingtons. More recently, Mullins traveled with the Hubert Laws/David "Fathead" Newman group.

On Standards & More, recorded live at Steamers Jazz Club in Fullerton, California, Mullins showcases some of his own compositions, along with standards and classical themes, and his own playing is filled with flourishes and accelerated tempos. Tenor saxophonist Jimmy Roberts largely carries the melody line, bringing an R&B flavor to his solos. Mullins reports that Roberts has a lot of Stanley Turrentine in his playing, and I would concur with that, but not on all tracks.

The group interprets three songs from Great American Songbook—the Brent/Dennis piece "Angel Eyes," Ellington's "In A Sentimental Mood" and the Heyman/Young classic "When I Fall In Love"—and Roberts displays superior balladry on them. Coltrane's "Giant Steps" is based upon chord changes and an new intro that came from Mullins' studies with George Russell. The Bobby Timmons jazz classic "Moanin'" is given a right-down-the-middle version by the group, and Mullins arranged the oft-recorded "Für Elise" from the works of Beethoven. It is only on the original "Island Girls," which Mullins had popularized in the past, that his link to smooth jazz really shows through. Although it is a hook-filled, Caribbean-flavored tune, it doesn't really fit in with the other work on Standards & More.

Track Listing: Introduction; B Flat Major Etude; Angel Eyes; F

Personnel: Rob Mullins: piano; Jimmy Roberts: tenor saxophone; David Levray: bass; Evan Stone: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: RME | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Speechless CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Holiday On Fire CD/LP/Track Review Holiday On Fire
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Calvins Toboggan CD/LP/Track Review Calvins Toboggan
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Silent Light CD/LP/Track Review Silent Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read PausaLive CD/LP/Track Review PausaLive
by Patrick Keyes
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "This is Life" CD/LP/Track Review This is Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 29, 2016
Read "Les Indignés" CD/LP/Track Review Les Indignés
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 3, 2016
Read "Jazz Jukebox" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Jukebox
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Aziza" CD/LP/Track Review Aziza
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Checking Out" CD/LP/Track Review Checking Out
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 19, 2016
Read "Hank Mobley" CD/LP/Track Review Hank Mobley
by Greg Simmons
Published: December 6, 2016

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!