Pete Mills: Art and Architecture

Weiskopf protege Pete Mills has released his own second CD as a leader, Art and Architecture (Summit), which is buoyed by the stalwart bass and drums team of Dennis Irwin and Matt Wilson, assisted by pianist Bobby Floyd and/or guitarist Pete McCann (acoustic and electric). Whatever the instrumentation-sometimes a tenor sax and guitar duo (Strayhorn’s “Chelsea Bridge”) or a tenor sax-bass-drums trio (Strayhorn’s “Isfahan” and Monk’s “In Walked Bud”)-Mills demonstrates a firm control of his instrument and of his material, all except the aforementioned being compositions of his own. His tunes include a nice bossa (“Seven Shades of Blue”), a couple of straightahead burners (“Spin Dri” and “April Tune”), some funk-laden, backbeat blues (“Dot Com” and “Clubfoot”), a lovely ballad (“Remembrance”) and a quirky, fast-paced head (“Pumpkin Shoes”). Everybody plays well in a mainstream modern mode, with the leader’s versatile tenor-kick-butt on “Clubfoot” and gorgeous on “Isfahan”-a key element of the album’s success.