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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Monday, April 4, 2022

Micah Graves - Pawns - New Release Review


I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Pawns, from Micah Graves and it's terrific! Opening with title track, Pawns, Micah Graves leads a group of excellent musicians on a creative path. Based over a central piano/keys vamp by Graves is reinforced by Robby Cruz on trumpet, Dick Oats on alto sax, Yesseh Ali on tenor sax, Zach Guise on bass and Julian Miltenberger on drums. Ali is the first to break loose with a creative solo line with incredibly tight drum rhythms by Miltenberger. Zach Fischer is next in line with warm guitar lead over a subdued, drum/piano rhythm, breaking back to Miltenberger and Graves tight rhythm interaction and horns. Very nice. Adding vocals by Danielle Dougherty and Shafiq Hicks on Lost In Time In Central Square, this track is much more straightforward and radio forward with a carload of instrumental excellence. Ali is first up on solo this time and his tones are fat and rich, followed by a funky keyboard solo by Graves and nicely complimented by Guise and again with over the top tasty percussive work of Miltenberger. Excellent! Dick Oats lays in some really nice alto sax work on this track feeding into Graves with his excellent keyboard lead. Solid head food. Odd Times is one of my favorite tracks on the release with it's driving keyboard lead, relentless bass line by Guise and especially the terrific drumming of Miltenberger. Excellent! Wrapping the release is The Hague with it's pop jazzy feel. A warm bass groove gives Graves a broad road to solo over on keys and Miltenberger holds a tight rhythm. Ali lets it all hang out on Tenor for a wild ride of a closer.

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