Steve Million is a pianist of distinction, adept at surprising interpretations of jazz and Great American Songbook standards but is also well-known for using his seemingly unlimited creative instincts and songwriting to inspire a new generation. On Poetic Necessities, he figuratively addresses subject matter relevant to life's ongoing realities on ten songs that range from Thelonious Monk's standard "Coming on the Hudson" to Jerry Goldsmith's "Dark Song." His playing is not only melodic, but alternates with an intensity that sears his improvisations into the listener's memory banks and creates considerable interest throughout the entire program. In-the-pocket and swinging on "Rooster Dance," the trio brings you full circle with their phrasings, mixed meters and control. Restrained fire that occasionally scorches is the best description for "Second Hand Smokin,'" a nearly seven-minute swinger that Million recorded at Chicago's Green Mill jazz club. Million contributed four originals to this commercially successful recording. When compared to his previous releases such as Thanks a Million, it's quite apparent that his musical visions remain beautiful, inspired, and can still produce a wide range of original songs that have elevated him into the front ranks of jazz interpreters.
Poetic Necessities Review
by Paula Edelstein