David Sills: Hangin’ Five
By Scott Yanow
David Sills is a cool-toned Los Angeles-based tenor saxophonist (26 at the time of this recording debut) whose sound recalls Warne Marsh a bit, although he names Stan Getz and Joe Henderson as his main influences. Despite his youth, Sills has a relaxed style and creates solos that take their time. Teamed up with pianist Cecilia Coleman, bassist Tom Warrington, drummer Sherman Ferguson and (on a few songs) his teacher, altoist Gary Foster, Sills is showcased on a very impressive program. He battles Foster to a draw on Lennie Tristano’s “Ablution,” and digs into a pair of Billy Strayhorn ballads (“Chelsea Bridge” and a memorable rendition of “Isfahan”), swings hard on Kenny Barron’s “Voyage,” and takes the closing “In a Sentimental Mood” unaccompanied. In fact, all ten performances are memorable in their own way and worthy of several listens. This CD is worth it for straight-ahead jazz fans to go out of their way to acquire.