A fine hard bop pianist who is especially effective on trio dates, Mulgrew Miller stretches out with his trio on this first of two CDs recorded at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He kicks thing off with a driving take of the old chestnut "If I Should Lose You," building the intensity gradually to a feverish pitch, while he never runs short of ideas in a lush treatment of the standard "Skylark." His sauntering original "When I Get There" shows the influence of both Thelonious Monk and gospel music, while his swirling "From Day to Day" showcases bassist Derrick Hodge to good effect. The first volume, Live at the Kennedy Center, closes with a brisk, imaginative arrangement of Charlie Parker's "Relaxin' at Camarillo." Drummer Rodney Green's light touch is also an asset, as is the excellent recording by the highly regarded engineer David Baker, who passed away prior to its release.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden