Is there a better jazz name than Mulgrew Miller? That name just says ‘jazz man’ to me — it rolls of the tongue like Thelonious Monk or Wes Montgomery. And why not? His show at The Jazz Standard this past Friday was one of those stand up and scream ‘hot damn’ type events — just flat out tight musicianship with sick improvisational exchanges. There were a good number of folks in the audience with gig bags. Need I say more?
The set list was well laid out and, of course, included his standard “Wingspan,” which I just never tire of. This time he had a vibist, sax, and trumpet to go along with the trio I saw at Smoke back in October so it was interesting to see how the arrangements changed for the expanded cast. And, of course, the band were all hanging out at the bar after the set, welcoming conversation as usual. Just not a lot to dislike here. Check them out around NYC — they seem to show up at a new venue every few months. Or, if you can’t wait, pick up the latest disk.