There will always be something about a musician who has mastered the piano that will draw me in. Many of us took our lessons when we were young but then soon drifted off into a different instrument, or in my case I went to keyboards and explored the psychedelic sounds I could make by pressing the keys. That love for Jazz piano will always hold a place in my mind though. Our recent find Nich Mueller has provided another trip down this beautiful genre.
Originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan the pianist has poured many hours learning as much as he could about Jazz and performing it at the highest level. Nich Mueller went on to receive a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies from Western Michigan University learning and performing with some of the greats. He also offers up a smooth vocal tone reminiscent of Chet Baker or even Ben Folds as a more modern popular reference.
In 2011, Nich Mueller released his debut album, which went on to win the Downbeat Award helping him build up a quick following of music lovers. Nich and his band perform re-invented versions of classic jazz standards and progressive originals featuring adventurous lyrical content paired with unique harmonic and rhythmic play.
Last week, Nich Mueller released his latest album Culture In Flames. The 10 track record acts as a statement on the various thrills and issues we face living in the 21st century. Themes include digital age confusion, the experience of living in corporate controlled America, travel and self-discovery, the evolution of religion and spirituality, and personal trifles resulting from an increasingly distracting culture.
Nich Mueller Creates Jazz To Make You Think
The opener “I.D.I.C.” sets the tone early with a peppy feel that seems to go in multiple directions at once. The talent of the group is imminent immediately. There is a dark vibe running through “Somnambularmy” with alternative time signatures and tempos as the full sonic space is explored. The more ballad-friendly “If Only” allows some relaxation for the listener musically but the deep lyrics force the mind to race with thought. There is much going on in the mind of Nich Mueller. The bells that begin “Beauty, Shakes Itself” let the mind wander again only to be whipped back in line with a song that builds to an all-out epic with multiple instruments sharing the forefront allowing the listener to focus on a different one with each listen. The closer “Something To Take With You” speeds it up again approaching pop territory with its harmonized vocals and aggressive playing style.
The Culture In Flames album is a full journey through both Nich Mueller’s mind and your own. Dive into the experience at: http://www.nichmueller.com/