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Steve Million Trio: Poetic Necessities

Time for Steve Million to get more national exposure. Long a Chicago fixture, Million’s fourth release as leader, Poetic Necessities (Blujazz), shows off his talents as a triple threat: a fine pianist with a feel for the bop idiom; a clever writer, with credit for half of the 10 tunes here; and above all, someone with a sharp sense of programming, countering his originals with tasteful choices, from the seldom-heard “Where Are You?” by Jimmy McHugh and Jerry Goldsmith’s “Dark Song” to another rarity, Alec Wilder’s “While We’re Young,” and Million’s obvious favorite, Monk, with “Coming on the Hudson.” The latter features great support by drummer Tim Davis, with his loping triplets. Million’s most swinging statements, as well as bassist Dave Marr’s, are heard on Million’s “Eat Me Baily,” which reveals many Monkish eccentricities. Not surprising, since the title comes from a fictional character with Tourette’s syndrome.

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