David_sills-bigs_span3
June 2002

David Sills
Bigs
Naxos of America

For evidence that some young mainstream tenor players have been able to avoid the pervasive influence of John Coltrane, check out David Sills' Bigs. Sills is more likely to speak of Stan Getz and Warne Marsh as models, and his playing shows it. Not that he's a copy of either, but his style does exhibit characteristics of both. He produces a smooth, velvety tone as Getz did and he often weaves long, serpentine, Marshlike lines. And he, too, eschews pyrotechnics in favor of melodic content, frequently creating lyrical, long-noted patterns where others might use conventional fast-moving rhythms. Sills proves to be a warmly expressive player on ballads like "Who Can I Turn To?" and "I'm Glad There Is You," but he swings leisurely on the boppish blues "Waiting for Charlie" and his own uptempo, Tristanolike "Grunions." The singing solos of guitarist Larry Koonse and the lyrical inventions of pianist Alan Broadbent reinforce the album's emphasis on melody. Darek Oles and Joe LaBarbera on bass and drums round out the highly responsive rhythm section.

Originally published in June 2002
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