With a Song in My Heartis a mellow, straight-ahead jazz quartet date. Soloff is full of expressiveness and solo ideas, and his session mates provide understated, sensitive support. Mulgrew Miller turns in some excellent solos, particularly on "I'm a Fool to Want You." The program is a blend of four standards, a couple classical pieces, and a couple Soloff originals. The Tchaikovski piece is especially interesting; Rob Mounsey's expert arrangement distills the essence of the symphony down to the quartet format, remaining true to its classical roots, yet providing some solo opportunities in a jazz quartet setting.
Soloff keeps his trumpet muted throughout the all-acoustic program, leaving the program sounding mellow and introverted throughout. A little sonic variety might have provided some additional interest. (Milestone MCD 9290)
Tracks:Come Rain or Come Shine; Andantino from Tchaikovski Symphony No. 4 (second movement); The Way You Look Tonight; I'm a Fool to Want You; Mea Culpa; Deguello; Istanbul; One for Emily; With a Song in My Heart (68:31)
Lew Soloff, trumpet; Mulgrew Miller, piano; George Mraz, bass; Victor Lewis, drums; Emily Mitchell, harp; Rob Mounsey, arrangements.
Rhythm Abstraction: Azure is the first volume of new compositions created as a follow up to 2018’s
release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion
solos. Frank Macchia then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Azure
is the first of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in
January and followed up in April and July. In Azure we have a created a group of pieces that continue
our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of
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