Week #1 Alternate Takes: Album for the Week

I’m excited that this brilliant musician is kicking off my Album of the Week series!

Mulgrew Miller's Solo

Mulgrew Miller’s Solo (Space Time) is a collection of standards (and one original piece), performed solo piano and recorded at various points in France over the course of a decade.

I actually had never listened to this album, and I don’t think I realized I owned it.  What a nice surprise to find untapped material of one of my favorite pianists – and solo piano at that.  Hearing Mulgrew performing solo is, for me, the best way.  I think because he plays so much piano, I absorb it so differently when he’s playing solo.  I will never forget finding out on a whim that Mulgrew was doing a duo gig with Robert Hurst at Smalls Jazz Club in NYC.  Oh. My. Goodness.   I mean, I had a lot of the solo piano bootlegs of Mulgrew (sorry…**embarrassed face**) but…that duo performance is an experience I will never forget.  Their version of Freddie Hubbard’s “Up Jumped Spring” is forever embedded in my spirit.  But anyway, this album was such a treat to discover on my shelf and I’ll be listening to it again this weekend.  He does some of my favorite classics like Con Alma (I’ve always loved the changes of that tune, and appreciate them so much more with just solo piano) and Dreamsville, Body & Soul and Giant Steps, which is not always easy for me to enjoy solo (though I love Kenny Werner’s version).  But he pulls it off masterfully…but what else would you expect from Grew?  Have a good weekend!

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