After being a sideman on more than two dozen jazz recordings, drummer Jim Miller finally releases a project as a leader, If it's not one thing...
(DMJ-1029). With his characteristic flexibility, one that makes it sometime seem as if he's physically steering the band around the turns of whatever tune is rolling past" (-Cadence), Miller presents a unique cymbal solo ("Sex Cymbals"), nine original compositions and a radical arrangement of Cool" from West Side Story.
Simms' City" is dedicated to the memory of Evelyn Simms, widely recognized as the 'Mama Diva' of Philly Jazz vocalists. Miller had the honor of working with Evelyn for many years, and still marvels at her huge repertoire; the drummer recalls that even if they were playing three or four nights a week together, she would rarely repeat a number: Conscientious pianists anticipating subbing on her gigs would work in advance on set lists of songs in her keys, and then she would sing entirely different tunes on the job. I learned so much from her."
The pieces ever Eddie" and Downtown Brown" are tributes to two other musicians Miller cites as inspirational influences, respectively pianist Eddie Green and bassist Tyrone Brown. Jim remembers When I was coming up in Indianapolis, I bought these Catalyst albums, and loved the music. Then a few years after moving to Philly, I couldn't believe I was on the bandstand with Tyrone and Eddie!"
Vocalist Suzanne Cloud, Miller's longtime coconspirator, provides the lyrics for Simms' City" and American Fado," as well as joining in on Downtown Brown" and anchoring Cool."
Called the orchestrational drummer of choice" in Jazz Player magazine, Jim's first CD is indelibly stamped with his personality, blending the best of jazz's last 25 years with humor and ultimately, serious politics ("nineleven" and the disc's coda, American Fado").
Fado is traditional Portuguese music, to which Miller was exposed while doing various jazz gigs in Lisbon and Porto. Portugal
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