“Nick Phillips’ name is on hundreds of major recordings, but not as a player. He’s produced a slew of artists, and crucial jazz reissues, for such labels as Concord, but his track record at this job should not overshadow his pristine, and moving, trumpet sound…Phillips nods to his predecessor’s (Chet Baker's) fragility but also imparts a feeling of strength that comes through a sense of restraint. ★★★★ ”
—DownBeat ("Best Jazz Albums of 2014" list)
“On a blindfold test, a good guess might be: ‘Chet Baker’…soft, rich, open horn tone. ★★★★★”
—Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz
"...spellbinding...performances that call to mind Miles Davis-esque moodiness and Chet Baker-ish romanticism and longing. ★★★★ ”
—Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz
"...Mr. Phillips seems to come from the line of pathos and irony created by Miles Davis…His handling of the mute is exquisite; he is in a minority of one when it comes to eliciting the primal cry of the horn, then making it sound almost human as notes bend and twist at his command."
—Jazz da Gama
JENNY MAYBEE | NICK PHILLIPS: HAIKU
“…Nick Phillips channels his inner Chet Baker in dreamy duets with singer/songwriter/pianist Jenny Maybee…an 11-track rarity of pristine playing, beautiful vocals and original compositions…Billie Holiday and Chet Baker, to name but two, are jazz legends whose music you could close your eyes to and nod out blissfully in a deep groove…Haiku is in the same league.”
"...a thrilling, intimate, very delicate dialogue...close to perfection."
"[Haiku is] an album that values heart over head and beauty over brawn, pointing to the fact that Nick Phillips has found an artistic soul mate in Jenny Maybee...wouldn't be totally out of place on an ECM record, as thoughtfully curious piano, full-bodied bass, and warm-toned trumpet embrace the art of unhurried exploration."
—All About Jazz
“...eloquent and heart-stopping...an otherworldly simpatico...there is a superb and almost balletic dancing that takes place. It’s as if the music melts into dance and this results in a dizzying and beautiful interplay that is riveting...among the most sincere and poised accounts of song that a duo have produced in a long time.”
"[Nick Phillips'] albums as a trumpeter show that he is a thoughtful improviser with a unique approach to creative music...What makes this album [Haiku] different is his collaborator, Jenny Maybee, who is equally talented as a vocalist and pianist. Maybee sings on seven of the album’s eleven tracks, and her unique style seems fairly sedate on the surface, but is capable of sudden intensity whenever the music demands. These qualities make Maybee a great partner for Phillips, whose moody trumpet improvisations frequently take unexpected turns...[Haiku's] understated mix of vocals and instrumentals should appeal to jazz fans of both genres.
—Jazz History Online
CAVA MENZIES | NICK PHILLIPS: MOMENT TO MOMENT
"...This gem feels timeless. It's a stunner...This quartet (with Menzies and Phillips handling the arrangements and production) has crafted a sonic atmosphere that seduces the listener into a state of transfixed bliss. It’s one thing to create a mood; it’s quite another to sustain that mood for an entire album."
—DownBeat Magazine (Editors’ Pick)
“The Ballads Album Miles Davis Never Recorded…Lush, emotional performances. Phillips' trumpet radiates warmth and sweetness as it floats over Menzies' delicate piano chords.
—East Bay Express
“A fabulous CD, the kind that find their way onto the ‘Best of Year’ lists…a gorgeously retro-classic sound…It has what the best albums have—a sustained mood, beautiful sound quality, well-chosen material, and great musicians who have clicked as a group and slipped into a cohesive ensemble groove.”
—Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz
“This is a duo that takes its sweet time, and the vibe as Phillips floats mournfully over Menzies’ generally livelier licks is that of two lovers sharing a dance at closing time…Straight down to the bass and drums, the interaction of instruments is easy yet dramatic, and the romantic nuance promises to reveal itself over time. The stories, after all, are in the empty spaces.”
—M Music & Musicians
“Spare, lyrical, beautiful and elegant…Menzies and Phillips know how to capture a mood…Throughout this CD, they let the music breathe...The Menzies-Phillips simpatico is so fine that it wouldn’t be surprising to hear any of these eight tracks – perhaps all of them – resurface on various movie soundtracks. Moment To Moment is that good.”
—Ken Franckling’s Jazz Notes
"…entrancing…The music is quiet but never light; it’s filled with emotion and with harmonic interest, but its overall impact is soothing and comforting at a deeply visceral level. It’s hard to explain how exceptionally beautiful this album is. Strongly recommended to all jazz collections."
“The songs are familiar but the fresh arrangements, relaxed pace and soft touch imparted by the leaders makes this a standout recording.”
—O's Place Magazine
“…a beautiful album…covers a broad range of emotions and colors across the breadth of the repertoire, owing much to Chet Baker and, not surprisingly, the cooler side of Miles Davis.”
“This is a late night jazz club, a hush over the crowd, one ballad after the other, and each song breaking somebody’s heart…just the kind of music for kicking back and drifting off…”
“Every year about this time, people begin to ask me for musical suggestions for Valentine’s Day. What’s the best music for a romantic dinner? What’s the best CD to surprise someone with as a gift?...Well, this year the answer is simple – pick up Cava Menzies and Nick Phillips‘ new CD Moment to Moment.”
—Straight No Chaser
"Moment to Moment comes close to the supernatural nature of music...Heavy with the bronzed glow of [Nick Phillips'] horn and the dense beauty of [Cava] Menzies’ sinewy harmonics informed by a palette of spectacular colours, the music gathers like a great bank of gorgeously fluffy and rippling cumulonimbus clouds sheltering in an endless sky."
—Jazz da Gama
“The musical creativity that resonates the collaborative union between these two artists can be heard with the ears, and also felt deeply within the soul.”
" …Phillips and Menzies let the music breathe, contrasting every sound they make with silence, showing that they are both masters of restraint...[they] play so well during their quartet set with bassist Jeff Chambers and drummer Jaz Sawyer that it is surprising to realize that neither one is a fulltime musician "
—Jazz Inside Magazine
"…floating, gorgeous album of ballads."
—Louisville Music News