Neal Miner always makes memorable music and travels in fine company, whether he’s alongside Michael Kanan, jamming with the EarRegulars at The Ear Inn, or leading a group at Smalls (183 West Tenth Street, Greenwich Village, New York) as he did last Friday, September 7, 2012.
The music Neal, saxophonist Alex Hoffman, and drummer Phil Stewart made that night had a warm lyricism and an easy swing at its heart — subtle but powerfully affecting melodic improvisations. I call it eloquent, casually unaffected chamber jazz, inspired musical conversations — an art not learned in schools but through deep study and experience.
Variations on WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED LOVE?
I CAN DREAM, CAN’T I?
Variations on IDAHO:
DREAMS OF YOU:
DEAR OLD STOCKHOLM:
BLUES FOR C SHARPE (with the great pianist Ehud Asherie joining in, to my left — felt and heard although not seen):
NIGHT OWLS (based on LULLABY OF THE LEAVES):
FROM THE HIGH LINE (based on INDIAN SUMMER):
THESE FOOLISH THINGS / BLUES FOR C SHARPE:
May your happiness increase.