Mulgrew Miller Trio | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Mulgrew Miller Trio



Mulgrew Miller is the quintessential mainstream jazz pianist, a musician of peerless technique and focus with a well-suppressed ego. He's no innovator but rather a deft assimilator who's forged a beguiling composite style over decades of hard-bop piano playing. A sideman for greats including Woody Shaw, Art Blakey, Betty Carter, and Tony Williams, Miller has appeared on more than 400 albums, a walloping testament to his flexibility and good taste. As demonstrated on last year's Live at Yoshi's Volume One (Maxjazz), his own groups thrive within jazz's most fundamental framework--usually you get a solo intro, a theme statement, a round of solos, then a restatement to wind down--but they deliver each element with subtle twists. On up-tempo numbers Miller plays with bracing clarity and rhythmic precision, peppering his solos with speedy runs, dissonant accents, and propulsive block chording that's often rendered with a blues-gospel feel that sounds as natural as breathing. He's also a wonderful balladeer, unafraid to break up his fluid lyricism with appealingly sour stabs of harmony. He appears here with bassist Richie Goods and drummer Rodney Greene. See also Wednesday and Thursday; the trio's run continues through Sunday. Tue 4/12, 8 and 10 PM, Jazz Showcase, 59 W. Grand, 312-670-2473, $20.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →