217

Mulgrew Miller and Wingspan: The Sequel

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Mulgrew Miller, one of the best-known and busiest pianists in Jazz, goes back to his roots on The Sequel, which reunites him with Wingspan, the quintet he formed more than fifteen years ago, for his first recording as a leader in seven years (during which time he appeared as a sideman on more than two hundred albums). Miller wanted his return to be special, and it is. The captivating program consists of eight of Miller’s superlative compositions for the quintet, Henry Mancini’s “Dreamsville” (a beguiling duet for Miller and soprano saxophonist Steve Wilson) and Rodgers and Hart’s “It Never Entered My Mind,” beautifully performed by Miller, bassist Richie Goods and drummer Karriem Riggins. Miller’s compositions are melodically pleasing, harmonically enterprising, rhythmically strong, and best of all, they swing. The quintet confronts each of them with the proper measure of adeptness and enthusiasm, proving time and again that this reunion was more than “Just a Notion,” as one of Miller’s tunes avers. The leader’s solos are bright and resourceful, as are those by Wilson (who splits time between alto and soprano), vibraphonist Steve Wilson and trumpeter Duane Eubanks (who is heard from less often than the others). Riggins is showcased on “Spectrum” and makes the most of the opportunity, while he and Goods forge the rhythmic bedrock on which everyone stands. Their proficiency is immediately apparent on the spirited “Go East Young Man,” whose vibrant Asian-influenced melody is a prelude to impressive statements by Eubanks, Wilson (soprano), Nelson and Miller. The pace slows on “The Sequel,” giving Miller a chance to stretch, while “Elation,” which follows, includes animated solos by everyone save Riggins. Miller also wrote the gentle ballad “Holding Hands” (warmly introduced by his unaccompanied piano), the forward-looking “Know Wonder,” the groovy “Just a Notion” (perfectly suited to his buoyant piano style) and the brisk and colorful finale, “Samba D’ Blue.” This is one of those rare Sequels that overshadows its precursor.

Contact: MaxJazz, 115 W. Lockwood Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119. Phone 314–313–8178; fax 314–961–6074; web site, www.maxjazz.com ; e–mail info@maxjazz.com


Track Listing: 1. Go East Young Man; 2. The Sequel; 3. Elation; 4. Holding Hands; 5. Know Wonder; 6. Dreamsville; 7. Spectrum; 8. It Never Entered My Mind; 9. Just A Notion; 10. Samba D'Blue

Personnel: Mulgrew Miller--piano; Steve Nelson--vibes; Steve Wilson--alto and soprano saxophone; Duane Eubanks--trumpet; Richie Goods--bass; Karriem Riggins--drums.

Title: The Sequel | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: MAXJAZZ


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

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 The Chase CD/LP/Track Review The Chase
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Paint CD/LP/Track Review Paint
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 16, 2017
Read A Pouting Grimace CD/LP/Track Review A Pouting Grimace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 15, 2017
Read Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis CD/LP/Track Review Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis
by Doug Collette
Published: October 15, 2017
Read "Drama" CD/LP/Track Review Drama
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 4, 2017
Read "Backlog" CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Infinitude" CD/LP/Track Review Infinitude
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 31, 2016
Read "Days Are Not Days" CD/LP/Track Review Days Are Not Days
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Songs Without Words" CD/LP/Track Review Songs Without Words
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 3, 2017
Read "Binary" CD/LP/Track Review Binary
by John Sharpe
Published: January 21, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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