5

Pete Mills: Sweet Shadow

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
A lot of words have clicked out of the keyboards concerning the possible demise of the compact disc. Maybe CDs will suffer the extinction, maybe not. But one thing is sure: saxophonist Pete Mills' Sweet Shadow is an excellent argument for the survival of the species.

On his fourth release as a leader, Mills has gathered a crack quintet to navigate labyrinths of ten of his modern-bop compositions, along with the Ellington/Strayhorn tune, "The Star-Crossed Lovers," Rolland Kirk's "Serenade to a Cuckoo," and a seemingly odd pick that works to perfection, the standard "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend."

Mill's opens the disc with his "Shiner," a rousing ride down an open highway, at ninety miles per hour. Mills, with his smooth delivery sizzling along to deliver the a craggy melody, brings the late sax man Joe Henderson, on his classic Blue Note albums, to mind. Or sometimes George Coleman with the fluidity of his lines. Guitarist Pete McCann and pianist Erik Augis supply a rhythmic weave behind the horn, and ubiquitous drummer Matt Wilson and bassist Martin Wind are relentlessly propulsive on this vivacious, modern-leaning tune.

"Snagel," another Mills original, is dedicated to a bagel/cream cheese/brown sugar confection. Mills does some of his most ominous blowing here (maybe as a warning for a carbohydrate overload), and McCann takes things out there on the edge with a marvelous guitar solo. Wilson is his exuberant, sharpening that edge to a razor gleam.

Ellington's "Star Crossed Lovers" features McCann on acoustic guitar, backing Mills straight ahead blowing. It a gentle mood that has a Bossa Nova feel. "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" is a sparkling bounce of a tune, with beautiful Red Garland-like piano work from Augis, and some of his sweet comping behind Wind's robust arco solo.

Sweet Shadow proves itself an excellent, modernistic, straight ahead jazz outing, and throw in the bonus—for those of us who don't believe in the CD's imminent extinction—of a beautifully designed, classic-looking cover.

Track Listing: Shiner; Summer; The Snagel; Duo 1; New School; Sweet Shadow; Seranade to a Cuckoo; Close to Nevr; Duo 2; The Star Crossed Lovers; Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend; Blues For Mel; Elora Dolce; Momentum.

Personnel: Pete MIlls: tenors saxophone; Pete McCann: guitars; Erik Augis: piano; Martin wind: bass; Matt Wilson: drums.

Title: Sweet Shadow | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Cellar Live


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by John Sharpe
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Live In Sant'Anna Arresi, 2004" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Sant'Anna Arresi, 2004
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 7, 2016
Read "Cub(an)ism" CD/LP/Track Review Cub(an)ism
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 17, 2017
Read "8th Window" CD/LP/Track Review 8th Window
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: April 11, 2017
Read "Till They Lay Me Down" CD/LP/Track Review Till They Lay Me Down
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "On Hollywood Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.