Saxophonist Pete Mills presents the first 2015 show of his Side One Series when his 5-tet pays tribute to Eddie Harris’ 1965 album The In Sound on Thursday, January 29th, from 9-11pm, at Natalie’s. Mills will be joined on stage by the rest of his core quartet – pianist Erik Augis, bassist Greg Wolfram, and drummer Zach Compston. As is usually the case with the series, a special guest will also grace the ensemble, as trumpeter Rob Parton will help fill out the music of the record.
An interesting connection between Mills and the album is that one of the trumpeters featured on The In Sound was Ray Codrington. Mills informed me that he and Codrington have been friends for 20 years. Codrington lives in North Carolina, and when Mills lived there in the mid-1990s, they played together often. Codrington even made an appearance on Mills’ debut album, 1998’s Momentum. Mills was a fan of his work long before he met Codrington, so this connection adds to his excitement for the performance.
As Mills told me about The In Sound, “The music is all about a groove and a feeling and a positive vibe. It’s got that, and it’s deep…in everything that makes jazz beautiful. The rhythmic thing, the soul, and even the harmonic complexity and depth of how Eddie Harris plays on all the tunes. It’s approachable but it’s really deep too. And that’s, I think, what satisfies me as a listener. We’re trying to project those things with our presentation of it. We’ve been rehearsing and playing the music and it’s been great fun. It’s gonna be a fantastic show at Natalie’s this week.”
For those unable to make it to Thursday’s show (and those in the eastern portion of central Ohio), on Wednesday, February 11th at 9pm, the same lineup will play the music of The In Sound at the Bandersnatch, a coffeehouse on the Denison University campus in Granville where Mills teaches saxophone, improvisation and directs the jazz ensemble. The performance is open to the public. Mills is close to finalizing details for the next Side One performance on Thursday, March 5th at Natalie’s, so stay tuned for more details.
Check out the most famous tunes from The In Sound that bookend the record to start getting the feeling of this classic work: