Feb 13, 2014
A few weeks back I did my consumer reporting duty and advised readers/listeners who were looking for a CD of romantic music to give as a Valentine’s Day present to find Cava Menzies and Nick Phillips’ Moment to Moment. While not a collection of love songs or even familiar standards (with an exception or two), the CD is a study in how ballads can be played, and is highlighted by Nick’s throwback sound on trumpet and the lush interplay of Cava’s keyboards. It’s a winner.
I’ve also given you my 2014 Valentine’s Day mix to download, and in that posting gave you links to three prior year mixes to access. If you’re following me online, you are in good shape music-wise.
However, a CD with a February 14 release also deserves your attention this season. Check out John Brown’s Quiet Time on Brown Boulevard Records. Brown, a solid bass player and bandleader, came to my attention over the Holiday Season, as he led a Big-Band to back Nnenna Freelon on her CD of Christmas tunes. Here he is at work with a quintet, and they produce music that lives up to the CD title – it is perfect for quiet times.
The arrangements are appropriately spare, and there is room for uncluttered soloing by a tight band. I’d love to hear more from the one-two punch of Ray Codrington (trumpet, flugelhorn) and Brian Miller (alto/tenor sax), who play with great sensitivity and style, but never fall into smooth jazz-cliché. Check out the solos on the band’s cover of Dr. Lonnie Smith’s “….and the Willow Weeps” to hear what I mean.
These musicians represent more of the fine talent coming out of the North Carolina area, as discussed by Ira Wiggins in our podcast last year. It’s a big country out there, and there is too much great music to think that New York or Los Angeles has a monopoly on quality.