Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Jon Mayer, piano "Live At The Athenaeum"

I have occasionally thought about the millions of hours of live jazz that ascend to the heavens unrecorded, and thus are enjoyed by only those there to hear it. Slightly better is the music recorded but never released; at least there is the possibility that one day it may reach our ears.  This exquisite trio session "sat in the drawer" since it went down way back in 2001 in La Jolla, California. It features Jon Mayer who extracts the best of the boppers and the romanticists, and he makes it truly his own. His trio colleagues are Darek Oles, bass, and Roy McCurdy, drums. Both are sought-after, esteemed veterans of the Southland jazz community and they work hand-in-glove with Mayer. He's always been inspired by the American Songbook, especially ballads. And he covers several here, including "All The Things You Are", "My Foolish Heart", "Tenderly", "The Touch Of Your Lips" and "Young And Foolish". A couple of originals also dot this landscape. "Shari's Bolero", Mayer's dedication to his wife, is complete with Bolero-like percussion from McCurdy, and "Lakeside" is the sprightly composition of fellow L.A. pianist Bill Cunliffe. Perhaps my personal fave was the Real Book classic "Minority". This is a timeless trio performance. How fortunate we are that it escaped an eternity in the atmosphere and finally found its way to this most welcome CD.

Self-produced; 2017; appx. 57 min.

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