Wrapped Up in Your Kiss
"Wrapped Up In Your Kiss" marks Steve Millard's debut as both a composer and lyricist. In Quintessence, Millard has found the quintessential group to convey the depth and variety of his compositions. The CD opens with "The Man She Loves," a driving up-tempo bossa nova. Hans Teuber's rich, full-bodied tenor sax, Eugen Bien's crisp piano, and Mark Ivester's clean beat recall the Getz/Gilberto/Jobim collaborations of the early 1960's. The title track, featuring silky vocalist Jennifer Ivester, is a smoky midnight ballad of sensuous memory and anticipation, highlighted by Teuber's beautiful and haunting tenor solo. "Sand & Sea" brings us back to a lighter bossa nova, à la Jobim's "Wave," featuring Bien (pronounce BEE-EN) on piano, with Douglas Barnett as always providing a solid bass line. On "Things Haven't Been The Same," Jennifer sings a tale of love lost with a 9/8 feel. Barnett's descending bass lines provide a compelling synchronicity. "The Man of My Dreams" is an upbeat big band tune in the spirit of Ellington, with Teuber and Bien delivering solid solos and Jennifer singing tongue-in-cheek. The final track, "Breezy Summer Night," has Teuber switching to alto and conveying a couple walking hand-in-hand on a gorgeous quiet summer evening with a hint of wind whispering in the trees. Barnett shows off his melodic chops on this one as well. When recording engineer Rick Fisher (whose clientele has included The Steve Miller Band and Pearl Jam) was mastering this CD, he said, "This is really nice, but why would anyone in this day and age write Jazz Standards?" Steve Millard answers: "Why not?"