Chris Rottmayer: “Sunday At Pilars”
Chris Rottmayer: “Sunday At Pilars” – Pianist and composer Chris Rottmayer’s new album, Sunday At Pilars, is a studio recording, but was inspired by his band’s monthly gigs at Pilars Martini in Winter Garden, Florida. The album features mostly covers, but also a few originals. It opens with a rendition of Tal Farlow’s “Meteor,” and it is saxophone player Jack Wilkins who immediately shines on this track, delivering an excellent lead. Chris Rottmayer takes over approximately halfway through, and his playing has a light and exciting flair. The rhythm section of Walt Hubbard on drums and Charlie Silva on bass keep things moving forward. That’s followed by “Weaver Of Dreams,” which has a more romantic style, putting me in a good and relaxed mood, something I desire more and more in these troubling times. Things do get livelier as the track goes on, but the mood remains good. Chris Rottmayer’s playing on “Skylark” is beautiful, just the perfect thing to listen to as we settle into a dark winter. Pour some Kahlua into your hot cocoa and enjoy this one. He also offers a pretty rendition of Victor Young’s “My Foolish Heart.” And his version of “Nostalgia In Times Square” is a lot of fun, and I love that work on drums. As for the original material, all three tracks are near the end of the album. The first is titled “Trocadero,” which has an easygoing and familiar vibe, and includes a nice lead on bass. That’s followed by “Waltz For Julia,” a wonderful, romantic piece, which also features some excellent work on bass. The disc concludes with the final original composition, a short piece titled “Break Blues For Pilar,” a fun and groovy little jam that will likely raise your spirits. This album was released on CD on November 13, 2020, though it was available digitally last year.