THE SWEETEST MELODY
by George Fendel
The Sweetest Melody, David Sills, tenor sax, Michael Kanan, piano. Another believer in the concept that swing is essential, ballads are a thrill, and blues is part of the vocabulary, is Southern California tenor man Sills. This is his seventh CD (in my collection), and I’ve long been an admirer of his musicianship, choice of material, and past playing mates such as Alan Broadbent, Gary Foster and others. This time around, David and his classic, gorgeous tone have encountered pianist Michael Kanan in a duo setting. The two have recorded previously, but in a more conventional setting. Their extremely satisfying musical communication is somewhat reminiscent of the great duo recordings from a Concord Jazz series many years ago. Indeed, the two of them bring a recital-like quality to 10 standards, one classic from the jazz book and, of course, a blues. How can you go wrong with “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams,” “All The Things You Are,” “Get Out of Town,” “I’ll Be Seeing You” and other Songbook America gems. “Milestones” is the jazz standard, and Sills switches to flute on a happy “Blues In Ten.” The big surprise is “How Little We Know,” a beautifully crafted, medium tempo delight which Sinatra once handled with aplomb. All in all, Sills is a relaxed, highly skilled veteran, and Kanan’s accompaniment simply couldn’t be tastier.