March 11, 1994 |
Rob Mullins, the keyboardist who's been a steady fixture at Southern California jazz clubs for close to a decade, says the primary responsibility of a musician is to reach his audience. "I think too much of the time, jazz musicians don't consider who's out there listening," says Mullins, who lives in Huntington Beach. "After all, they're the ones that make your house payments. And, let's face it: Music is entertainment. If people aren't entertained, you haven't accomplished anything."
January 30, 1994 |
* * * Rob Mullins, "One Night in Houston," AudioQuest. Keyboardist Mullins takes his quartet through a set of nine originals in which he alternates fiery funk ("Holiday") with relatively relaxed jazz ("Quiet Fire"). Except for one cut on which Wilton Felder overdubs two extra sax parts, it's all live, direct to two-track with appropriate backing by Ndugu Chancler (drums) and Larry Kimpel (bass).
January 21, 1994 |
Before he left for Hanoi last month, Rob Mullins saw Oliver Stone's latest film, "Heaven and Earth," which chronicles four decades of a Vietnamese woman's life. But it didn't prepare him for what he found there. "It's a place where time is still stuck back somewhere in the past," the keyboardist from Huntington Beach said. "They're still trying to develop basic things like electricity, public transportation, systems of distribution for their products.
April 2, 1993 |
Pianist and composer Rob Mullins says that before he reached his teens, he fell in love with jazz when he heard a version of "West Side Story" played by drummer Buddy Rich's big band. For a while, Mullins felt there was only one style of jazz: that pulsing, forward-surging genre known as mainstream, or straight-ahead, typified by the late Rich's often explosive renditions.
December 15, 1992 |
Too often a musician's work is dubbed "fusion" strictly because of its instrumentation. Plug in a few instruments, turn up the volume and voila , you've got a fusion band. But real fusion melds styles as well as instruments. That's what keyboardist-composer Rob Mullins does. Not only does Mullins blend acoustic and electric instruments in his band, he also mixes styles, fusing jazz and rock beats with world-beat and even classical elements.
December 11, 1992 |
Rob Mullins' most important career decision happened when he was 14 years old. He was leaving for school in Denver one morning when a car jumped the curb and struck him, fracturing his leg. Suddenly, the young Mullins, who since the age of 11 had been playing drums with big bands in Colorado and earlier in Ontario, Calif., had a problem. "You can't play drums in a cast," the now 35-year-old keyboardist said recently. "So I took up piano."