All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

276

Rob Mullins: Standards & More

By

Sign in to view read count
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

Jazz Straight Ahead

Jazz Straight Ahead

Rob Mullins
Jazz Straight Ahead

PrimeTime

PrimeTime

Rob Mullins
Storyteller

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

Related Articles

Read Seymour Reads The Constitution! CD/LP/Track Review
Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Doug Collette
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Colours of Sound CD/LP/Track Review
Colours of Sound
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 23, 2018
Read A Blast From The Past CD/LP/Track Review
A Blast From The Past
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Rhapsody CD/LP/Track Review
Rhapsody
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2018
Read You're Driving Me Crazy CD/LP/Track Review
You're Driving Me Crazy
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 22, 2018
Read "Live At The  Century City Playhouse – Los Angeles, 1979" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Century City Playhouse – Los Angeles,...
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 27, 2018
Read "Surface of Inscription" CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Aspiration" CD/LP/Track Review Aspiration
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: September 15, 2017
Read "Scarlett Roses" CD/LP/Track Review Scarlett Roses
by Doug Collette
Published: November 26, 2017
Read "Threes" CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 14, 2017
Read "Town And Country" CD/LP/Track Review Town And Country
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 21, 2017