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In A Monkish Mood. Chicago-area pianist Steve Million sends his third Palmetto release our way. Bubbling under the surface of true stardom, Million plays a no-nonsense brand of Hard Bop reflected off the mirror of the turn of the century. Roaming the halls of this music is the spirit of Thelonious Monk. Million’s opening original, “Right Place, Wrong Key” smacks of the Master and he closes the disc with a dusty solo passage through Monk’s “Gallop’s Gallop”. In between is a clever “All The Things You Are” and “Terror of Toni Town”, loosely based on “Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise.”
Images. Steve Million is joined by journeymen Randy Brecker on trumpet and Dick Oates on Saxophones. Both musicians turn in credible performances, adding accent to Million’s already heady brew. The sound of this disc is very crisp and clear, important attributes for music such as this. Truth Is... is music that knows what it has to say and Steve Million says it loud and clear. Recommended.
Track Listing: Right Pace. Wrong Key; Truth Is...; Terror of Toni Town; Fireflies; All The Things You Are; Perfectly Spaced; Shytown; Eiderdown; Nomadrigal; Blackwater; Ain
Personnel: Steve Million: Piano; Randy Brecker: Trumpet; Dick Oatts: Saxophone; Michael Moore: Bass; Ron Vincent: Drums; Steve Cardenas: Guitar.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.