Bassist Kent Miller delivers an engaging
collection of songs with Contributions (TNEK Jazz,
2016). The title refers to the contributions of the
musicians on the recording, as well as songwriters whose
compositions are included in the set.
Miller are Benny Russell, tenor sax; Darius Scott, piano,
and Greg Holloway, drums and percussion.
Carnival” is a lively opener. Like something off the streets
of Rio, this energetic celebration puts Russell out front.
Miller’s bass line and Holloway’s play are constants. It’s a
festive, cast-your-worries-aside song.
for Scott’s “Peri’gee.” This mellow ballad features some
quiet play by Russell with subtle support from the others.
The title is a word that describes an element of orbit, such
as the moon around Earth. Many a songwriter has referred to
the moon when penning songs of love.
include Miller’s “A DC Waltz” and “One for Two Blues,” and
Miller was born in 1956 in
St. Louis, Missouri. His parents’ appreciation for all kinds
of music was his starting point. He took piano lessons at
age 8. He later began studying guitar. At 12, Miller watched
a television program that featured Ray Brown as a soloist
performing with a big band. That led to Miller’s enthusiasm
for the contrabass. Studies included the St. Louis
Conservatory of Music and private bass lessons.
Contributions is aptly named as the music focuses on
the sidemen more than the leader, and five of the nine songs
are a mix of covers and compositions by band members.