Mulgrew Miller and Wingspan

The Sequel

MaxJazz MXJ 204

Mulgrew Miller, piano, composer; Steve Nelson, vibes; Steve Wilson, soprano & alto saxophones; Duane Eubanks, trumpet; Richie Goods, bass; Karriem Riggins, drums.

Mulgrew Miller, making his debut album for MaxJazz, and his first recording as leader after a self imposed exile for seven years, reunites with Wingspan, the group he formed fifteen years ago. He has a feeling that Jazz is becoming too complex, and he "Wanted to record music that was less cluttered, music that emphasized the dance in the swing beat." Miller wrote eight of the ten tracks, which provide us with easy, warm Jazz of great quality. True to his word, this is text book stuff, tuneful, balanced, sharing and artistic. Having fine musicians playing with you can enhance the sound even more; the intertwining of Steve Nelson on vibes, such an enriching sound; the crafting of trumpet and saxophone with solid support from bass and drums laid over by Miller at his innovative best, creates a worthy CD. There is no particular outstanding track, though standards were never lowered; Miller must be a romantic at heart. This is an excellent band; Miller's melodic feel, inventive, thoughtful shaping and sensitive awareness marks him out as special. If these tracks are a reflection of Mulgrew Miller's personality, then he should be a nice guy to know.

by Ferdinand Maylin

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