Mulgrew Miller: Live at Yoshi's, Volume One (2004)
Miller's tremendous technical virtuosity is clearly evident from the beginning of the brisk tempo opener "If I Were A Bell," but it is the tasteful manner he exhibits in displaying his extraordinary abilities that is so inspiring. Throughout the date he demonstrates amazing articulation without ever leaving the listener thinking that any one of his many notes is being played simply for the sake of ostentation. On Donald Brown's lovely "Waltz For Monk" and Jobim's beautiful "O Grand Amor" he also shows that he is capable of breathtaking use of space. He swings mightily on Woody Shaw's "The Organ Grinder" and tenderly on Horace Silver's "Peace" and Ellington's "Don't You Know I Care."
On the bluesy interpretation of "What A Difference A Day Makes," the group evinces a classic sound with Hodge's arco bass solo divulging a prodigious talent with a bow that is practically unheard of in such a young player. Miller reveals his notable compositional skill on the closing "Pressing The Issue," a tour de force rhythmic assault that showcases Riggins' remarkable drumming and the more modernistic side of the unit that will hopefully be explored further with the release of the second volume of this truly great trio's first documented date.
This review originally appeared in AllAboutJazz-New York .
Track Listing: If I Were a Bell; Waltz for Monk; O Grande Amor; The Organ Grinder; Peace; Don't You Know I Care; What a Difference a Day Makes; Pressing the Issue.
Personnel: Mulgrew Miller: piano; Derrick Hodge: bass; Karriem Riggins: drums.
Record Label: MAXJAZZ