Kelly Sill / Jim McNeely / Joel Spencer

Boneyard

origin 82473

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Phillip McNally, Cadence Oct-Dec 2007

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Jim McNeely is of course one of the reigning masters of mainstream Jazz piano, with a pedigree that includes time with the Jones-Lewis Band and with Joe Henderson. I first heard him behind Stan Getz on a night when he stole the show from the fussy saxophone maestro. On "Boneyard" he is, as you would expect, tasteful, neat, in the pocket yet never glib. His playing is particularly lovely on "Naomi" and "in the Wee Small Hours," where his touch is eloquent and his mastery of harmony allows him to give these standards new life.
But it is not for nothing that the pianist gives equal billing to bassist Sill and drummer Spencer. McNeely gives the whole trio a lot of room, and shows off his skill at comping behind the other two sides of the trio. Sill is not a dramatic bassist, but he is always melodic without resorting to effects and extended techniques. Spencer doesn't solo much, but he swings with ease and uses all the kit to create fine colors too. The recording has a great warm sound, and makes this a winner on every level.






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