Guitarist composer Michael Musillami and his longstanding trio with Joe Fonda and George Schuller follow 2007's The Treatment (PSR#050607), their critically acclaimed collaboration with renowned violinist Mark Feldman, with From Seeds, the debut of the Michael Musillami Trio +3 featuring Ralph Alessi, Marty Ehrlich and Matt Moran.
This newly formed sextet performs six new, original compositions Musillami conceived specifically for this ensemble. "Composing and arranging all new music for a cohesive group that combines vibes, trumpet, and alto with a guitar trio meant taking things to a whole new level," he explains. "I needed three players with the sound, experience and confidence to not only play this music, but also put their stamp on it without taking away from what the trio does best. Marty, Matt and Ralph were perfect choices."
Guitarist/composer Musillami continues his impressive string of recordings with this fine CD. If you have been impressed with the guitarist's mature and intelligent compositions, here are six more. From Seeds is an aural delight, one more stellar recording from Michael Musillami.
— Richard Kamin, Hartford Courant
There are too many marvelous solos throughout, especially by Mr. Musillami, to describe here but I will say this: thoughtful listeners will be at the edge of their seats from the beginning to the righteous end of this fantastic disc. It doesn't get any better than this!
— Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
Guitarist Michael Musillami's trio, with bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller, is some seven years old and thus a thing of great musical closeness, but in this case a doubling in the size of the band results only in musical pleasures. That result is aided in no small part by the distinctiveness of Musillami's compositions, which are brought to life by a band with a deep knowledge of his methodology and what it takes to make an impression. They unselfconsciously avoid every cliché in the book, and repeated listening is passed with aplomb.
— Nic Jones, AllAboutJazz.com
I've been playing this CD the last few weeks on air. I think it has some really smart writing, great ensemble work and intriguing solos.
— Mike Stratton, WLNZ 89.7 FM
The core trio's bright interplay still crackles with intelligence and fervor, but it's expanded here in this even wider textural and color-filled landscape thanks to the interactive, creative voices of Musillami's three additional shipmates. In this highly-charged, classy six-ring circus approach, the music continuously unfolds in vibrant, shifting shapes, rhythms and harmonies, with everything cooking and cohering. As a courageous captain and wise navigator, Musillami, for all his great fire and energy, avoids excess while sailing to new discoveries on this rich, rewarding journey.
— Owen McNally, Hartford Courant
Scene veterans multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich (playing alto exclusively), trumpeter Ralph Alessi, and vibraphonist Matt Moran bring experienced vitality to Musillami's longstanding trio. Bolstering ornate post bop melodies with uncluttered yet sophisticated arrangements, Musillami's compositions elicit a variety of moods. Building on the jazz tradition with graceful strides, From Seeds is one of Musillami's finest efforts, and a high water mark for a label whose longstanding dedication to quality is documented in each release.
— Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com
Moving further into the realm of truly original modern creative music, [Musillami] continues to assert himself not only as a very competent performer, but especially as one of the most innovative composers on the scene. This sextet is potent, equally as able to turn on a dime, ride with the wind, or hop aboard a freight train of steaming power and perseverance...a marvelous new music recording of great depth and vision that retains its vibrancy upon repeated plays...highly recommended.
— Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide
These players are not only able to maneuver the tricky ins and outs of these pieces but also seem to be genuinely inspired by them...throughout, the core trio functions as a modern rhythm section should, almost telepathically shifting tempos, driving soloists, creating the space to support the added heft in the frontline. As much as any of their trio dates, From Seeds shows Musillami, Fonda and Schuller to be one of the finest working units in jazz today, with or without the “+3”.
— Robert Iannapollo, AllAboutJazz-New York