Rob Mullins performed his 20 year reunion in Denver last Saturday night, October 18th, in Denver at the City Hall Events Center and it was phenomenal.
I've known Rob since we were both teenagers and we attended jam sessions together. He was an excellent performer then, but let me tell you, folks, now he has matured into 'the man'. He is a genuine heavy-weight contemporary jazz pianist, and he is very simply the best.
Don't give me how the piano is a 'thing of the past'. Are you kidding me? There is no substitute for a top flight instrument (in this case a Yamaha C5, 6'6" grand) in the hands of a truly accomplished artist.
Rob has total command of the keyboard, as he alternately goes from the rhythmic drumming of the keys - combining high-level voicing with soulful grit, to his double hand leads - each hand playing the same rich, fast lead, to the tasteful strumming of the strings - during a brief respite as the band play "Georgia On My Mind".
His roots are firmly ensconched in bop, stride and other two-fisted techniques of the earlier jazz giants, and yet the sound is new, fresh, modern, clean, and complex. This ain't your father's piano jazz.
I have to admit that I have not followed Rob's career very closely over the past 20 years. We went our separate ways - he totally into performing and myself into piano servicing. But after being contacted to tune the piano for this event, I paid closer attention. He gets play on our top two radio stations in Denver and I have learned to be impressed with him all over again.
With his large powerful hands, Rob Mullins has spearheaded jazz into the 21st century with a resounding voice, providing the listener with a sophisticated art form that always inspires but never offends. With so many modern performers, that is a rare combination indeed. "New Age" is not an adequate term for this robust art form. Don't even go there.
Now then, my search will begin for Rob Mullins' solo performances to add to my library. While he loves his rhythm section and horn players, I crave the pure sound of only the piano.
Registered Piano Technician
Serving Colorado Since 1978