Liner notes from Robert Irving III:
As a nine-year Miles Davis collaborator and group alum, I tend to get more performance and project offers than one person can reasonably manage. Invariably I’m often asked to refer a solid and versatile jazz pianist. Since meeting Greg Spero as I presented at a Self-Employment in the Arts Conference in 2006, he has been my first-call referral. His enthusiasm and drive for innovative artistic excellence has made him well loved throughout the Chicago jazz community. I regard Spero’s new “Acoustic” CD as his coming of age project. In-fact, the trajectory of his evolutionary arc, as evidence by this project, sets exceptionally high standards. This may sound as if he’s outdone himself, but it’s my bet that he’s only just begun. Here on display is his extraordinary talent for translating the abstract into concrete musical language. The harmonic and rhythmic compositional textures, colors and flavors are truly gourmet in nature. The nuanced pianistic performances of Spero, along with drummer, Makaya McCraven and bassist, Matt Ulery are highly intuitive as an exhaustive examination and study of variation on imaginative thematic fibers. In this musical dissertation, Spero musically reveals to us pixels inside of which are masterpieces. Herein he has mastered the subtle art of complex simplicity. Again, I can’t begin to imagine how he’s going to surpass this release. So instead, I’ll just choose to settle in and listen again— and again.
Robert Irving III (Miles Davis collaborator and music director for 9 years)