Down Beat (p.80) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[W]ith more colorful and adventurous playing than on its predecessor, particularly in the leader's pianistic flourishes."
JazzTimes (p.94) - "A fluid improviser in the contemporary hard bop-modal tradition, he's firmly ensconced in the upper echelon."
Personnel: Mulgrew Miller (piano); Derrick Hodge (upright bass); Karriem Riggins (drums).
The second volume of material to come from a 2003 series of dates by the Mulgrew Miller Trio at Yoshi's is every bit as enjoyable as the first. Miller, one of many veterans of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers who have gone on to excel as a leader, has put together a fine group with bassist Derrick Hodge and drummer Karriem Riggins. Their thunderous opener is Victor Feldman's powerful "Joshua," which Miller devours whole with his exciting solo. He takes a funky approach to the standard "Comes Love" and offers an extended workout of "Little Girl Blue" with a bluesy undercurrent. Hodge opens Miller's original "One's Own Room" with a tension-building solo; the leader builds upon it as he slowly improvises upon its dark but fascinating theme. Two tracks salute old friends who have passed on. James Williams' "Road Life" is an upbeat number conveying the excitement within the world of a traveling musician; this hard bop vehicle has its share of surprising twists. Tony Williams, with whom Miller worked as a sideman, composed the driving "Citadel," wrapping up the CD with a strong finish. The intimate sound of these live sessions adds to the value of this highly recommended CD. ~ Ken Dryden
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