"From the first note we played in Dachau, the trio was elevated to a new level and seemed to mature with each measure," recounts Musillami to music journalist Ed Hazell in the liner notes. "We have always trusted each other musically, but there was a new level of courage simmering on the bandstand." Hazell goes on to write, "From the evidence of this CD, that's no idle claim; this recording is a clear step forward from Beijing, the trio's first. They are as confident and swinging as ever, with the same beautifully balanced ensemble work and adventurous soloing. But there's something more-a greater sense of daring and a greater sense of support among the musicians. These two characteristics feed off each other and encourage a joyful testing of limits. You can hear the deep communication and the excitement of discovery from the very first notes."
Critics called the Michael Musillami Trio's debut, May 2003's Beijing (Playscape Recordings PSR#J121802), "a vehicle for improvisers to kick things into a higher gear with enthusiastic, interconnected playing" (AllAboutJazz.com), "a production awash with a sense of intimacy via the artists' close-knit musicianship" (All Music Guide), and a session with "a fresh and vibrant sensibility" (Jazz Times). Hartford Courant reviewer Richard Kamins added, "Each track has something to recommend it." In addition to his trio, Musillami actively works in a duo with Madsen, leads a more mainstream quartet, and most recently led and arranged music for the all-star octet that celebrated the music of the late saxophonist/composer Thomas Chapin on 2004's Spirits (Playscape Recordings PSR#J020104). Known as "one of the more imaginative guitarists in jazz" (Signal to Noise), Musillami has recorded more than a dozen recordings as a leader and is the founder of the acclaimed five-year old Playscape Recordings label, called one of the best labels of 2003 by AllAboutJazz-New York.
Media Contact for the Michael Musillami Trio:
Scott Menhinick, Improvised Communications