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!

Alternate Takes: album for the week

a portion of my music library.

For those of you who have read my “An Album a Day” post on my blog, you know that in an effort to curb the tendencies of allowing technology to dictate how we listen to music, I have gotten back to listening to full albums from front to back, and really taking in the project the way the artist intended.  It’s also a way for me to get to know my immense music library again, and in some cases, discover music I own but have never checked out.  Hence, Alternate Takes: album for the week.  My library is organized alphabetically, so they will not be completely “blind” picks, but the picks will still be random!  I will be posting my picks every Friday (just in time for your relaxing weekend, when you would actually have the time to listen to a whole album!)  This should be fun! 

I’m warning you — I’ve got a lot of guilty pleasures, so I’m asking in advance — no judging!