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2014 Jazz – Moment to Moment from Pianist Cava Menzies and Trumpeter Nick Phillips

So this morning at Me, Myself , Music and Mysteries I posted three songs that put me in a good mood, and tonight I am listening to an album that puts me in a mellow mood. I want to get home turn the lights out and drift to this wonderful album. Yes, drift to the fine piano of Cava Menzies and the “Chet Baker-esque trumpet of Nick Phillips on their album Moment to Moment. As a matter of fact, I was going to write to you readers if you want an album to settle back with put your feet up and just drift grab this one!!

Then I came home and read this about the music on the album which is mostly ballads……..’

Many artists have produced albums filled with love songs and torch tunes at slow tempos; they’re designed to pull at the heartstrings, or turn up the nostalgia, or to highlight the introspective phrasemaking that ballads allow. But very few succeed at also doing what this album accomplishes. It creates a cocoon of space around the listener. It lowers the blood pressure; it slows the heartbeat; it seems to slow time itself. (If it weren’t so supremely musical, you might consider marketing it as a medical device.) On Moment To Moment, Menzies and Phillips locate their music very much in the present – in that space, Menzies explains, “where you have a moment to breathe.” And they transport their listeners to a place where each of those moments really counts. Read More

As I was mulling over what to write about the album, I thought one thing is for sure I’m going to look up the back catalogs for both of these artists. What did I find?? There really isn’t any! Neither of these fine musicians make a living play music. In Cava’s case,she has at least been a member of the bossa nova and standards duo Cavalisa which is comprised of Cava Menzies (Piano, Vocals) and Lisa Forkish (Lead Vocals).and they have released one album Vast is the Sky. Cava also plays around the San Francisco Bay area as the leader of the Cava Menzies quintet. But Nick Phillips who had been a working musician,  put aside his trumpet (until he met Cava) to concentrate on his day job, Phillips according to his biography at their website is…..

…. a longtime staff producer and Vice President at Concord Music Group, Phillips has worked on hundreds of albums – by noted artists ranging from Karrin Allyson to Poncho Sanchez to Gary Burton – and overseen the label’s acclaimed jazz reissue program, where his personal involvement has elevated collections of work by such giants as Dave Brubeck, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, and Thelonious Monk.

Oh and the classically trained Ms. Menzies, who has a BA from the Berklee College of Music in Boston where she studied jazz piano and music education.and a MM from the University of Miami where she studied composition and music production and recording. In her day job, she teaches music to kids in grades 6 through 12 at the Oakland (CA) School for the Arts (OSA), where she chairs the vocal department and conducts the school choirs. Through her work at OSA, Cava has led three concert tours to Italy, Puerto Rico, and New Orleans – See more here.Ms Menzies also has a great musical pedigree, her father is jazz trumpeter Eddie Henderson, who was an early member of the Herbie Hancock sextet, while her mother a classically trained flautist!! Oh, her grandmother, she was a dancer at the Cotton Club in Harlem!

So both artist’s brought aspects of their musical day jobs and obvious talent to the production of this terrific album. Manzies says this about the album…..

“It’s a very, very moody album,” Menzies remarks. “Not in a negative way, but ‘moody’ in that it’s the type of album where you sit and reflect on life. There are moments in which it plays with both dark and light. It’s moody in that way, and it really tries to capture the range of human emotion – the emotion that you feel just moving through life.”

So again, find the album turn the lights down, and live Moment to Moment !!! 


Cava Menzies/Nick Phillips
 Cava Menzies

Here’s Kenny Barron’s “Phantoms” from Moment to Moment….