David Sills: Eastern View (2004)
By DAN MCCLENAGHAN, Published: December 12, 2004
With a solid organ trio backing him, tenor saxophonist David Sills grabs your attention with his very first solo on Eastern View‘s opener, the Sills-penned (as are all the songs here) “New Break.” The tune opens with an organ-supplied bass groove backed by shimmering cymbals; then the guitar and sax enter, peeling off some tangy mid-tempo lines, until the accompaniment pulls back and Sills steps out front, with a somewhat restrained (nicely so) and articulate, straightforward monolgue in front of the always inspired trio. Organist Joe Bagg has a subtle but very on-target touch as he paints his cool-toned pastel washes behind Sills and guitarist Larry Koonse.
And that sets the stage for the entire disc: a fine organ trio backing a talented saxophonist on ten engaging mainstream tunes.
Sills’ tone has been compared to the sounds of Stan Getz and Joe Henderson. I’d lean toward the Henderson side of the comparison, and throw in some Hank Mobley into the mix, too. You can’t help sounding bluesy when you’ve got an inspired organ trio behind you. Eastern View has a definite Blue Note Records circa-’60s vibe to it—a killer organ trio with a creatively clean-blowing saxophonist out front rolling through a bunch of straight-ahead originals. And Sills has an engaging way of going after his solos without flash or B.S., telling his personal stories while adding little Joe Henderson-like surprises along the way, small flurries that catch you a bit off-guard but still fit snuggly into his story lines.
A very cool-sounding group doing more than its share to keep mainstream sounds alive and vibrant.Track Listing: New Break, Deep Sleep, Small Peaks, Stoned Eyes, Eastern View, Keys Found, Little Key, Tiger Tracks, Enomily, Cuttin’ Back
Personnel: David Sills–saxophone; Larry Koonse–guitar; Joe Bagg–organ; Tim Pleasant–drums