Consilience Productions
CD Picks

Mulgrew Miller
(b. 8/13/55 - Greenwood, MS)

Title: The Sequel
Personnel: Mulgrew Miller (piano), Steve Nelson (vibes), Duane Eubanks (trombone), Karriem Riggins (drums), and Richie Goods (bass).
Recorded: 2002
Label: MaxJazz
Comments: The Sequel marks three important career points for Mulgrew and his listeners. First, it reunites him with Wingspan, the reputable quintet he formed in 1987; second, it ends his seven-year hiatus as a bandleader; and third, it is his debut for the Max Jazz recording label.

Mulgrew's career spans back into the late 70's when he was with Mercer Ellington's big band and had important stints with Betty Carter (1980), Woody Shaw (1981-1983), and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1983-1986). For a long period, he was a member of the Tony Williams Quintet (1986-1994). In addition, Mulgrew has led his own sessions for Landmark (starting in 1985) and Novus, but these CD's are harder and harder to find, unfortunately.

As for his style of playing, he is heavily influenced by his upbringing in the blues-drenched environment of Memphis, TN, and his association with fellow Memphis greats, Phineas Newborn, Jr., Charles Thomas, Donald Brown, Harold Mabern, James Williams, Frank Strozier, George Coleman, and Charles Lloyd, to name only a few. His music has a special sophistication, both in harmonic structure and his touch on the piano. He has carved out a really unbelievable niche in the history of this music, both with his original approach to the piano and to his style of composing. Indeed, he is influencing a whole new generation of pianists as we speak!

Title: Young At Heart
Personnel: Tony Williams (drums), Mulgrew Miller (piano), Ira Coleman (bass).
Recorded: 1998
Label: Sony
Comments: This recording would be Tony William's last, as he died only six months later. Very sad, indeed. Mulgrew's stint with this band lasted eight years, but this trio was Tony's last touring band, too. The mood is more pensive, and Mulgrew's playing is just incredible. Get this CD before it goes out of print!
Title: One Day, Forever
Personnel: featuring Benny Golson (tenor sax), Art Farmer (trumpet), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Shirly Horn (vocals), Mulgrew Miller (piano), Ron Carter (bass), Carl Allen (drums), strings...
Recorded: 2001
Label: Arkadia
Comments: A wonderful recording featuring Benny Golson's tunes and a stellar line-up, including the inestimable Shirly Horn.

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