Jazz Pianist Featured at Chicago’s Jazz Showcase

From: ThatPRGuy.com
Published: Sat Apr 09 2005

CHICAGO – Jazz pianist Mulgrew Miller is the choice of the leading jazz performers to appear in concerts or on recordings, and this week he will perform with his own trio at the Jazz Showcase.

Miller has recorded with almost every known jazz artist on the scene. In fact, Miller remains one of the most recorded pianists today, second only to Kenny Barron. He has over 400 recording sessions to his credit.

The Mulgrew Miller Jazz Trio features Miller on piano, Richie Goods on bass, and Rodney Green on drums.

The trio will perform at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago, April 12 - 17, followed by an appearance on April 18 at the Narri Lay Bach Lounge, 7119 Puritan Ave., Detroit, Mich. with two shows at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

His latests releases, on MaxJazz, include "The Sequel" (2003), featuring Mulgrew surrounded by long-time associates Steve Nelson and Steve Wilson, and "Live at Yoshi's" (2004), where Mulgrew can be heard fronting his regular trio featuring Derrick Hodge and Karriem Riggins.

Miller was born in Greenwood, Miss., in 1955. He was picking out melodies on the piano at 6, taking lessons at 8, and going on gigs with his older brother by 10. His life was changed forever at 14 when her heard jazz pianist Oscar Peterson.

"It was a life changing event. I knew right then that I would be a jazz pianist," said Miller. He went to Memphis State Univ. and learned from mentors like James Williams and Donald Brown who taught him to listen to the jazz greats.

At 20 he began his professional career with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, led by the late Mercer Ellington. During his formative years as a sideman, Mulgrew also worked with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Woody Shaw's Quintet and Betty Carter's group. He was also one of the founding members of Tony Williams' Quintet.

Those early experiences enabled Miller to rapidly become one of the most in demand pianists, and in 1985 he made his first recording as a leader for producer Orrin Keepnews's former label, Landmark. During the nineties Mulgrew developed his career as a leader of his own trios/quintets, recording an impressive series of albums for RCA/ Novus.

A highly original composer, Mulgrew has become very recognizably his own man, powerful, lyrical, and imaginative.

"I want people to feel uplifted when they hear my music, to be inspired by beauty, power and intelligence. To me, if you’re not doing that, you might as well pack up and go home," he said of his music.

Pamela Riley, publicist

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