- An MVD Exclusive
- SKU: CM120120
- Format: CD
- UPC: 875531019193
- Street Date: 04/23/21
- PreBook Date: 03/19/21
- Label: Cellar Live »
- Genre: Jazz
- Run Time: 46:01 mins
- Number of Discs: 1
- Year of Production: 2021
- Box Lot: 60
- Territory: WORLD EX JP
- Language: English
Cast & Crew
Spike Wilner Trio - Aliens & Wizards
The first release in a collaboration between Smalls Live & Cellar Music led by NY jazz impresario & pianist Spike Wilner
- List Price: $12.99
- Your Price: $12.99
- In Stock: 79
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Funded by The SmallsLIVE Foundation, a not-for-profit arts foundation with the mission of supporting the artists and subsidizing the expense of operating Smalls Jazz Club & Mezzrow. We are grateful to partner with Cory Weeds and The Cellar Music Group on presenting artist projects commissioned by the SmallsLIVE Foundation.
Reviewed by Cree McCree
June 2021 issue
After COVID brought live music to a screeching halt, Spike Wilner, owner of New York's Smalls and Mezzrow, threw a lifeline to the jazz community. He reorganized as the nonprofit SmallsLIVE Foundation, streaming live shows and posting a vast archive. Now SmallsLive is releasing what Wilner hopes will be the first of many co-productions with the Cellar Music Group. Fittingly, the debut album, Aliens & Wizards, is helmed by Wilner himself
Recorded at the height of the pandemic with bassist Tyler Mitchell and drummer Anthony Pinciotti, the trio follows up Odalisque from 2017 with a vibrant mix of old standards and evocative originals.
The sprightly opener, "Righty-O!," Wilner's keyboard-driven take on his late drummer friend Johnny Ellis' composition, could be subtitled, "How to have fun in a pandemic." Ditto the spirited closer, "Trick Baby," a drumbreak-studded romp with swooping keyboards, pulsing bass and a crystal-clear message: "Hey, we're playing again, and life is sweet!"
Between are more reflective originals, including the hymn-like "Prayer For Peace," "Non Troppo" and the lovely bowed-bass "Adagio." Taken as a whole, Aliens & Wizards mirrors jazz life in the time of COVID while tracking Wilner's personal journey.
- Swinging and poignant trio recording made at the height of the pandemic in New York City
- Led by jazz impresario and renowned pianist Spike Wilner featuring his long time trio of Tyler Mitchell and Anthony Pinciotti
- First release in a collaboration between The Smalls Live Foundation and The Cellar Music Group
The Spike Wilner Trio demonstrates that they have an expressive interplay, while impromptu, is not without direction.
—Pierre Giroux, Audiophile Audition
The music on Odalisque prides itself on an appealing type of eclecticism, marked by equal parts buoyant swing and pugnacious modernism.
—Brian Zimmerman, Downbeat
...This is a smoking trio of jazzbos that's here to play, not play around. It's all right in the classic piano trio pocket throughout. Well done.
—Chris Spector, Midwest Record review 4/9/2021