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The Muller's Wheel
a collaborative project between Tobin Mueller & Woody Mankowski
Cover of The Muller's Wheel
rereleased as 'Müller's Wheel'
available on HearNow, YouTube Music, Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify

Müller's Wheel is a collection of tunes that evolve from swing into bop into funk and fusion, although most every track has an element of bop-funk. The inventive hipness in each track will make you want to get up and dance (or shout).

The original project, titled The Muller's Wheel, is a collaboration between keyboardist Tobin Mueller and saxophonist Woody Mankowski. Most of the tracks are performed by a quartet, a few have a full ensemble, and a few are multi-layered duets in which Tobin and Woody play multiple instruments. These original tracks represent their personal journey through jazz influences -- from swing to bop to fusion to funk. The styles of Count Basie, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Herbie Hancock, The Brecker Brothers, Weather Report and more influence this homage to the jazz greats. Even the blues are given Mueller/Mankowski's uniquely bop-funk treatment ("Struttin' Up Bourbon"). In all, the duo's originality permeate each track, each jazz sub-genre.

Tobin Mueller and Woody Mankowski’s 2010 release, "The Muller’s Wheel," was available only as a download, but it has now been beautifully remastered and released in 2012 as a CD (available exclusively from CDBaby) with much better sound quality and a clarity that really sparkles. Sounding much more like a live recording (without an audience), the interaction between the musicians is crisp and spontaneous. I thoroughly enjoyed the original version, but this new one is amazing! Discerning ears need to have the CD to experience the music as intended!"
- Kathy Parsons

This is joyous music. It reminds us of the happiness we relive when returning to our musical roots. Mueller/Mankowski remind us how the personalities of certain eras continue to assert their influence and power.

Three tracks are included from Tobin Mueller's award-winning 2009 release, "Rain Bather," pieces that further highlight Mankowski’s playing: "Windowshade," "Cliff's Edge" and the haunting "River Runs Through Me." The CD ends where it began, with a vocal variation of Seafood Gumbo (with vocals and lyrics by Angela Hope); and the wheel continues to turn...

Tasty electric guitar additions by Fran Dagostino, drumming by Dane Richeson and bass by Jeff Cox complete the album. Tobin's nephew Chris Mueller adds piano on "Cliff's Edge" and "River Runs Through Me" (songs from the Rain Bather project on which Tobin plays organ).

"The Muller’s Wheel" title is based on the biological concept that mutation and DNA recombination creates cycles of growth and loss. It serves as a metaphor for the ebb and flow of the synthesis and creativity Mueller and Mankowski apply to their musical influences. The tracks are arranged in historical sequence, and the listener appreciates the cross-pollination between each of these genres. Listening from beginning to end creates a cyclical pilgrimage. Its rhythms and inventive flights of fancy invite the listener along for many return trips.

The Muller's Wheel* has been remastered and is now out on CD. The new title is called Müller's Wheel, adding to the theme of evolution and constant change that is at the heart of this joyous recording. It is available directly from Tobin Mueller and Woody Mankowski.

Several of these tracks have been remixed and remastered for Mueller's latest compilation: Best of Tobin Mueller, Vol. 1: Jazz Originals.

Play button 1 Seafood Gumbo
Play button 2 Oasis On The Rocks
Play button 3 Saddle Shoe Sally
Play button 4 Lost In The West Village
Play button 5 Müller's Wheel
Play button 6 Windowshade
Play button 7 Fusion of Minds
Play button 8 Distortion of Memory
Play button 9 Forrest's Fire
Play button 10 Struttin' Up Bourbon
Play button 11 River Runs Through Me

All songs are by Tobin Mueller & Woody Mankowski, ©2010/2012 except "Windowshade" and "River Runs Through Me" which are by Tobin Mueller © 1996 / 2009 / 2012.


Play button Seafood Gumbo (vocal version) by Tobin Mueller & Angela Hope
Play button Fusion of Minds - long version

*"The Muller's Wheel" is a concept involving the interplay between populataion size, genetic recombination, the influence and speed of evolution and mutations. Large effective population size allows for more efficiency of natural selection, which leads to a selective sweep (the reduction or elimination of variation among nucleotides in neighbouring DNA of a mutation as the result of recent and strong positive natural selection), which decreases effective population size, which decreases the efficiency of selection... And the wheel turns round. Since this project moves from swing to bop to funk, which, in many ways, feels like starting from my parents' muisic and moving toward a return of the music of my own youth, I liked the idea. Plus, the whole Muller thing is a play of my name: Müller, as they spelled it in the Old Country.