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Live at the Kennedy Center, Vol. 1

Mulgrew Miller Trio

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Album Review

A fine hard bop pianist who is especially effective on trio dates, Mulgrew Miller stretches out with his trio on this first of two CDs recorded at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He kicks thing off with a driving take of the old chestnut "If I Should Lose You," building the intensity gradually to a feverish pitch, while he never runs short of ideas in a lush treatment of the standard "Skylark." His sauntering original "When I Get There" shows the influence of both Thelonious Monk and gospel music, while his swirling "From Day to Day" showcases bassist Derrick Hodge to good effect. The first volume, Live at the Kennedy Center, closes with a brisk, imaginative arrangement of Charlie Parker's "Relaxin' at Camarillo." Drummer Rodney Green's light touch is also an asset, as is the excellent recording by the highly regarded engineer David Baker, who passed away prior to its release.


Born: August 13, 1955 in Greenwood, MS

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

An excellent pianist who played in a style influenced by McCoy Tyner, Mulgrew Miller was quite consistent throughout his career. He was with Mercer Ellington's big band in the late '70s 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, Miller led his own sessions for Landmark...
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