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.

Title: Standards & More | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: RME


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Float The Edge CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by John Sharpe
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Resonance CD/LP/Track Review Resonance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Black Focus CD/LP/Track Review Black Focus
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "First Man" CD/LP/Track Review First Man
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2017
Read "Ray Charles Orchestra: Zurich 1961-Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series, Vol. 41" CD/LP/Track Review Ray Charles Orchestra: Zurich 1961-Swiss Radio Days Jazz...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 8, 2016
Read "Taylor Street" CD/LP/Track Review Taylor Street
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Ljubljana" CD/LP/Track Review Ljubljana
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Here on Earth" CD/LP/Track Review Here on Earth
by Doug Collette
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "What Do I Miss" CD/LP/Track Review What Do I Miss
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 10, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!