Kelly Sill / Jim McNeely / Joel Spencer

Boneyard

origin 82473

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

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An excellent trio session from pianist Jim McNeely, bassist Kelly Sill, and drummer Joel Spencer. The Chicago-based trio has been collaborating in various forms for years, and the tightness of the ensemble is apparent in the interplay between musicians here. McNeely takes the lead for much of the album (being the pianist, of course), and shows off some noteworthy chops on standards like "In Your Own Sweet Way" and originals (such as the outstanding "Ernie Banks") equally. These little flights of fantasy are reminiscent of some of Herbie Hancock's work, but go beyond simple mimicry. Sill and Spencer get turns in the spotlight with solos from time to time, but for the most part their approach is a sensitive one. Sill may make a few runs on the bass from time to time, but he seems content to accent the piano for the most part. Spencer stays in the background for much of the duration (including during his own solos in some cases), accentuating the pauses and providing some capable timekeeping, but never stealing the spotlight. This fits in quite well with the drumming aesthetics laid out on many of Origin's releases, perhaps influenced in part by John Bishop's style. Throughout the proceedings, the performers play off one another beautifully and run the compositions for all they're worth. The music here probably isn't revolutionary in the world of jazz, but it is indeed very, very good.






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