Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Michael Musillami: Those Times

How much hip music can you wring out of a threadbare standard? Guitarist Michael Musillami approaches this question from an odd angle. In the strangely defensive liner notes to his latest release, Those Times, he expresses doubt that you can get anything creative out of an old standard. The release in question is a standards session, natch.

Pianist Ted Rosenthal, bassist Dave Shapiro and drummer George Schuller join Musillami here on a set of standards (plus one original) that the guitarist considers part of his musical personality. Musillami’s virtues are unshowy ones-he tends to play in lower registers, prefers an open tone and hardly ever sounds rushed-but it’s clear from the start that this is Musillami’s gig. He takes the bulk of the solo space and handles it with confidence. Rosenthal is largely a deferential presence, though he hems Musillami in here and there. But his interaction with the guitarist on Bill Evans’ “Comrade Conrad” sounds more tangled then telepathic.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published