Cava Menzies/Nick Phillips, Moment To Moment (NPM)
Although Pianist Menzies and trumpeter Phillips make judicious embellishments in the ballads of this enchanting collection, their operating principle seems to be adoration of the melody. The tempos are slow, the harmonies rich, bassist Jeff Chambers and drummer Jaz Sawyer finely tuned to the leaders’ wave length. The quartet illuminates standards including “The Peacocks,” For All We Know,” “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” “Speak Low” and Kenny Barron’s “Phantoms.” Phillips’ C-minor musings on his composition “You” and Menzies’ touch and folkish harmonies on her “Mal’s Moon” are highlights, far from the only ones. By day, she’s a music teacher. He’s an executive at Concord Music. The quality of this collection makes it unlikely that it will be their last one.