Chapters 1 & 2: Keys to the City/Work combines Mulgrew Miller's excellent first two albums on one compact disc. Keys to the City, pianist Mulgrew Miller's debut as a leader, found his McCoy Tyner-inspired modal style already fully formed. At the time, he was a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and was starting to become well-known in the jazz world. Teamed with bassist Ira Coleman and drummer Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Miller performs four originals, Joe Henderson's "Inner Urge," "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye," "Milestones" and an unaccompanied rendition of Duke Ellington's "Warm Valley." Work was made about the time he left Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers to go out on his own. The session, Miller's second date as a leader, matches his modern mainstream modal style with bassist Charnett Moffett and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington. Once again, the repertoire is a mixture of Miller originals, jazz standards ("Without a Song," "Powell's Prances" and Thelonious Monk's "Work") and an unaccompanied piano solo ("My Man's Gone Now"). This set is recommended to fans of 1980s/'90s jazz piano.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow