TMG (Todd Mullins Group)
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TMG (Todd Mullins Group)


Band Jazz R&B


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The best kept secret in music


"TMG Todd Mullins Group"

TMG. Todd Mullins Group
Eyes Like Mine
By Ronald Gable

It?s probably been four months or so since I received this CD in the mail; my life had gone through some major changes over that time and I?d fallen behind in my writing, so now I?m trying to play catch-up. During that period Rosemary and I would listen often to this same CD over and over again in our car without really getting burned out on it. At some point I began to feel guilty; this man had given me his CD and I haven?t done anything but listen and enjoy.

I would categorize this music as smooth jazz with flair; not the smooth jazz you might hear on an elevator that plays over and over and goes on and on. Each of the ten tunes tend to take you down a different path and by the time the player went through all ten we didn?t mind or sometimes even realize we were starting over again. The title ?Eyes Like Mine? goes well with Todd?s picture on the cover and I?m thinking much deeper into the music itself. Mullins is a musical visionary as depicted in the first nine songs, which he wrote and arranged, all new and unique but in the depths of my mind there?s some kind of remembrance of a long forgotten favorite melody. Of the ten songs, the first two are most common, at least in the introduction, but aft that the path widens and it becomes a mix of pleasant multiple journeys. A couple of my favorite picks would be ?Bailla Pa Mi? and ?Taylor?s Way? the first because of the interaction between players and the second because I?m a softie for slow and pretty jazz.

The Todd Mullins Group consists of Steve McKeehen (electric guitar), Bobby ?Moses? Bynum (bass), Harold Quarles (drums) and Mullins (keyboard, alto and soprano saxophones) making up a tight nit and talented quartet.
- Ron Gable, JazzAdvcate

"Todd Mullins Group"

Posted by: Admin on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 - 08:42 PM
[Arts & Culture] By Leslie Benson

Todd Mullins Group
The saxophone has traditionally been regarded as one of the most sensual and smooth brass instruments. The thought of the sleek, curved body evokes thoughts of romance and a late-evening rendezvous, and when it?s played well, there is no other sound like it in the world. Todd Mullins, an accomplished alto/soprano jazz saxophonist who cut his musical teeth at Wright State University and Ohio University, took his classical training to the next level. He joined ranks with other area musicians and brought a progressive, modern stance to an old art form.

Technical writing, blues and jazz influences attracted lead guitarist Steve McKeehen, bassist Bobby ?Moses? Bynum and drummer Harold Quarles to Mullins? corner. Having officially formed the Todd Mullins Group three years ago, the foursome now prepares to release its debut album, Eyes Like Mine. The sultry and musically precise jazz CD pays homage to classic artists such as Grover Washington Jr., Bill Withers, Percy Sledge, The Doobie Brothers and The Beatles. A poppy mix of covers and original R&B numbers, Eyes Like Mine reflects the diversity of the saxophone?s sound while backed by a refreshing, professional jazz group.
With a sax flavor that stands up to Kenny G?s famous chops any day, Mullins, who works as an Ohio State Trooper by day, performs covers that include the bluegrass gospel hymn, ?Wayfaring Stranger,? with ease. He and the band, who all work for the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), also sends a spark of life through listeners with their numerous originals, including the slow serenade ?Mind Games? (built upon the chords Mullins? son experimented with one day on the keyboard), ?Taylor?s Way I? (written for his middle daughter) and ?Audrey Faye? (titled after his mother). Mullins decided to name the album Eyes Like Mine as a homage to his youngest daughter?s ?bright blue eyes,? which he said are the only physical characteristics that resemble him thus far. The album?s songs collectively stem from a love of family and playfulness with jazz notes and beats.
?This band plays a great mix of music I don?t hear other bands doing,? Mullins said. ?Our original music can stand alone, but we keep throwing familiar tunes at the audience. There are no vocals at the moment. The sax does all the talking.?
According to the band, their songwriting process often evolves from a melody introduced by the sax or a chord progression from the piano. After McKeehen composes a guitar riff and arranges the instrumentation with Mullins, Bynum and Quarles add their final interpretations of how the song should sound. The results speak for themselves.
The band relayed that ?although the songs are quite structured, we still maintain the right to improvise over them, allowing the band to put more feeling into our live show. Songs are seldom played the same way (every time), which keeps our music fresh for our audience and fun for us.?
Enjoying the recording process as much as the experience of performing live in front of an audience, the band members hold memories of certain shows close to their hearts.
?I personally enjoyed performing last year in Columbus at a jazz and arts show,? Mullins said. ?It was cool how everyone was checking out pieces of artwork, then coming over to watch us. TMG just displayed a different type of art that day.?
Although members must put in their money, time and effort to make money, attract fans and succeed, the musical process can be self-rewarding.
?To make it in this business, it takes money to grow and get the attention of record labels,? Mullins added. ?Playing music is an enjoyable way to make a little money, but no one?s getting rich from it (at the local level), at least not yet.?
For their supportive fans and families, the band thanks ?everyone who has been coming out and supporting (their) live shows and purchasing CDs, Vick Mickunas and WYSO for CD airplay time, and Todd?s wife Deanna for all her hospitality and hard work and her ability to put up with four guys invading her home to practice and keeping us in line on the road.?
According to the musicians, their goals for the New Year include winning more attention from local fans and possibly from a record label. The band?s second CD is currently in the making.
The Todd Mullins Group will perform on Saturday, Jan. 17, from 7 pm until 10 pm, at Beavercreek Fairfield Wine?s jazz and wine tasting event. Eyes Like Mine is available for purchase at Studio 58 Hair Salon in Xenia, Newsreader?s Bookstore, Chelsea Manor Hair Salon in Fairborn and online at You can request the band?s songs on 97.3 FM WYSO during ?Excursions? from noon until 2 pm. The band will also perform in the 2004 Jazz at the Bend and Columbus Rib & Jazz festivals.
- Dayton City Paper


Artist Information
TMG's new release, "Eyes Like Mine" features ten songs. Tracks 1-9 were all written, arranged and produced by Todd Mullins. Many of the songs reflect special meanings into Todd Mullins' musical creation. Track 1, "B.A.M." is his son's initials. The smoothness in this song depicts much of his son's character. Track 2, "Audrey Faye" was titled after his mother. She has been a huge support in his life, encouraging him to follow his dream of becoming an inspiring saxophone player. Track 3, "Mind Games" was written around the cords his son was playing on the keyboard. With the help of his son, he asked him what he should call the song after it was finished. "Video Games" was his son's suggestion. After a little tweaking, they decided on "Mind Games". Track 4, "Eyes Like Mine", the title song of the CD, was written for his youngest daughter. The only thing that resembles him is her bright blue eyes. Track's 8 & 9, "Taylor's Way I" & "Taylor's Way II" were specially written for Todd's middle daughter. The graceful rendition of these two songs' shows up in his daughter's sweet, playful personality. Track 10 is an old, bluegrass gospel cover song."Wayfaring Stranger" was his grandmother's favorite hymnal that Todd adapted to jazz.
"Eyes Like Mine" CD is currently receiving airplay on WYSO, 91.3 FM, Yellow Springs, OH.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Todd Mullins Group

Band Biography
Todd Mullins is an accomplished smooth jazz saxophonist, who has played with numerous bands since 1979. Upon graduating from Xenia High School, Todd was awarded the John Phillip Sousa Award for best musician. He attended Ohio University and Wright State University where he received scholarships to play saxophone. During this time he was first chair, lead alto saxophonist and featured soloist on several occasions.

Although classically trained, it is obvious after hearing him perform; the progressive jazz influence stimulates his technical writing and playing style. He has played with several blues, jazz, mixed styles and big bands in the Dayton, OH area. He is now working on his solo career and has written and recorded his own music. His style and sound resembles that of Grover Washington Jr. at times and at others, it is uniquely his own.

Lead guitar player, Steve McKeehen is a talented musician, who has studied privately and played for over thirty years. His playing ability and sound serve as tastefully played backup for Todd's sax. Covering rhythm guitar and at times taking the lead with his own solo's, it is evident Steve is knowledgeable of his instruments. In the past, he has contributed to other musical studio recordings.

Supplying the bottom for the group is Bobby "Moses" Bynum. His bass playing is unique and provides a soulful sound to the group. His smooth changes support their style of songs.

Drummer, Harold Quarles has played with bands in the Dayton area for several years and handles the sticks well. The beat and syncopated rhythm he provides, gives TMG a sound ideally their own. Harold's playing has consisted from jazz to blues and even Motown. He has been performing since 1965.

TMG (Todd Mullins Group) has been performing together for three years fueling each others playing power. TMG's tight smooth jazz show is a mix of original jazz/R&B songs and classic covers from artists like Percy Sledge, Doobie Brothers, Grover Washington Jr., Bill Withers and the Beatles. President of DFPA quotes, "TMG featuring outstanding saxophone playing of Todd Mullins is probably the best saxophonist in the Miami Valley". Their smooth groove can't help but entice the listener, as you will
soon find out when you hear their debut CD, "Eyes Like Mine".