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An American Diary

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Album Review

In addition to a few group originals, vibraphonist Mike Mainieri performs some unusual pieces with his quartet (Joe Lovano on tenor, soprano, and alto clarinet; bassist Eddie Gomez; and drummer Peter Erskine) on this CD, including two folk songs and selections by Leonard Bernstein ("Somewhere"), Frank Zappa ("King Kong"), Aaron Copland ("Piano Sonata"), Roger Sessions ("Piano Sonata No. 1"), and Samuel Barber ("Overture to the School for Scandal"). The pianoless quartet (which displays a lot of versatility by Joe Lovano) turns all of the music into creative jazz. The most interesting aspect to this thought-provoking disc is how difficult it is to tell which compositions are taken from classical music and which are new. There is a surprising unity to the potentially difficult material; the performances on the rather moody outing reward repeated listenings.

Biography

Born: 04 July 1938 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Mike Mainieri, a talented and distinctive vibraphonist, has had a productive and diverse career. He first played vibes professionally when he was 14, touring with Paul Whiteman in a jazz trio called Two Kings & a Queen. He played with Buddy Rich's bands for a long period (1956-1963) and then became a busy studio musician, appearing on many pop records. Mainieri had opportunities to work with Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, and Wes Montgomery (1967-1968), among many others, and played in the early...
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An American Diary, Mike Mainieri
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