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Cava Menzies & Nick Phillips CD Release Moment to Moment
February 17, 2014
Moment to Moment CD Release
Nick Phillips - trumpet
Cava Menzies - piano
Paul Eastburn - bass
Jaz Sawyer - drums
Monday, February 17
Ballads reign on Moment To Moment, the self-produced (and extraordinarily self-possessed) new album by pianist Cava Menzies and trumpeter Nick Phillips. But this recording is much more than just a “ballads album.”
Many artists have produced albums filled with love songs and torch tunes at slow tempos; they’re designed to pull at the heartstrings, or turn up the nostalgia, or to highlight the introspective phrasemaking that ballads allow. But very few succeed at also doing what this album accomplishes. It creates a cocoon of space around the listener. It lowers the blood pressure; it slows the heartbeat; it seems to slow time itself. (If it weren’t so supremely musical, you might consider marketing it as a medical device.) On Moment To Moment, Menzies and Phillips locate their music very much in the present – in that space, Menzies explains, “where you have a moment to breathe.” And they transport their listeners to a place where each of those moments really counts.
“We’ve done all sorts of material in our gigs together,” Menzies points out, “but the ballads really brought out something special in our playing – a gentleness. At a house concert we did about a year before the recording, we played a duo version of ‘You Don’t Know What Love Is,’ and at the end we were both weeping. It was so powerful emotionally; we feed off each other’s energy when we play, and we wanted to just go deeper and deeper.”
In repertoire drawn primarily from the jazz catalog as well as the Great American Songbook, Menzies and Phillips – joined by the tastefully simpatico rhythm team of bassist Jeff Chambers and drummer Jaz Sawyer – go far beneath the surface of the melody lines and chord changes. Their improvisations have a quiet wakefulness, a deceptive simplicity that reveals a carefully constructed, unassuming majesty. Together, they follow the advice of Miles Davis in not only knowing what to play but also, more important, what to leave out. And their instrumental lines dovetail with an ease that would normally bespeak years of collaboration.
“…a beautiful album…covers a broad range of emotions and colors across the breadth of the repertoire, owing much to Chet Baker and, not surprisingly, the cooler side of Miles Davis.” About.com http://tinyurl.com/po25qga
“The musical creativity that resonates the collaborative union between these two artists can be heard with the ears, and also felt deeply within the soul.” iRock Jazz http://tinyurl.com/klsxs83