Label: CELLAR LIVE
Musicians: Matt Wilson - drums; Pete McCann - acoustic & electric guitar; Martin Wind - bass; Erik Augis - piano.
CD Review: Ever been out on a new date, not knowing what to expect, but once the conversation and body language kick in, you lose all sense of self, and time seems to stop? Well, that is the type of experience you are liable have with tenor saxophonist Pete Mills latest CD: SWEET SHADOW. Scientists, and informed laypersons refer to this 'state' as "flow."
Essentially that's what Mills' music does...flow. And for good reason. The album consists of original music, "written for the sounds and talents of each of the guys" (Mills), with inspiration from a houseful of twentieth century masters of 'flow' in jazz music composition from his boyhood headed by Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn, and Thelonious Monk. Add Erik Augis's Nat Cole/Oscar Peterson piano accents; impeccable time keeping by the inimitable percussionist Matt Wilson, whose recent work with saxophonists Ken Peplowski, Noah Preminger (2012 & 2013), pianist Falkner Evans (2011), and the New York Standards Quartet (2011), has certainly elevated him to the stature of 'percussive vendor of choice, and first-call.' In addition guitarist Pete McCann, who spent 20 years on the New York jazz scene, brings touches of John Scofield's guitar electricity, plus the influential fret magic of jazz masters Wes Montgomery and Jim Hall. German-born bassist/composer Martin Wind totes a Master's Degree in Composition, studying with Mike Richmond, Jim McNeeley, Tom Boras, Mike Holober, and Kenny Werner. He also appeared alongside such jazz luminaries as Lalo Schifrin, Monty Alexander, Pat Metheny, Clark Terry, Mark Murphy, Slide Hampton, Buddy DeFranco and others. And as "Der Bingle" and 'Satchmo'" harmonized as they interpreted Cole Porter, "Now, you has Jazz, Jazz, Jazz, Jazz."
|Drummer Matt Wilson|
Besides being a band leader, educator, and first-call sideman, Mills is a prolific composer/arranger. He is the musical architect behind eleven of the fourteen tunes on the CD; enough to fill two albums, which buoys "SWEET SHADOW" with significant added value. Mills' tone is dulcet, fluid, almost peerless. His 'sound' is slightly lighter than Getz's, with an appealing, burnished accent, indicative of quality time devoted to honing his formidable 'chops.' (Close to Never) . However Mills' playing is not all calmness of approach, and composure. His narrative is not without edge and swing, though he eschews hawking his virtuosity (Diamonds are a girl's Best Friend) allowing Wind's bass to showcase his excellent Paul Chambers inspired-bowing technique. On this1949 Jule Styne/Leo Robin Broadway tune, you may hear Carol Channing, but you'll feel Marylin Monroe.
|Pianist Erik Augis|
|Guitarist Pete McCann|
|Bassist Martin WInd|
Track Listing: Shiner; Summer; The Snagel; Duo 1; New School; Sweet Shadow; Serenade To A Cuckoo; Close To Never; Duo 2; The Star Crossed Lovers; Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend; Blues For Mel; Elora Dolce; Momentum.
Recorded at: Trading 8s Music, Paramus, NJ
Mixed by: Chris Sulit, Pete McCann & Pete Mills
Mastered by: Rob (Wacko!) Hunter at The Attic, Groton, NY
Poduced by: Pete Mills, Pete McCann, and Tom Christensen
Executive Producer: Cory Weeds