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Mays At the Movies

Bill Mays

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Album Review

Bill Mays' remarkable career has included stints with Sarah Vaughan and Gerry Mulligan, in addition to an extensive discography as a leader and occasional solo pianist. This trio date with Peter Washington and Billy Drummond marked the first time they had played together as a group, while the lack of rehearsal didn't keep them from sounding like a working unit. Mays conceived this CD as an opportunity to explore some of his favorite songs from movies, kicking off with a lively treatment of I've Never Been in Love Before that adds a few twists to this decades-old standard. The breezy setting of Pure Imagination swings hard, while Mays manages to put his personal stamp on Alex North's Love Theme from Spartacus, a special challenge due to the late Bill Evans' well-known recordings of this haunting ballad. Mays adds a good-natured vocal to You Leave Me Breathless, while Washington's playful exchanges with the leader in the driving take of Henry Mancini's Charade are delightful. The pianist also includes an original that has been heard in more than one film, Judy, an elegant swinger with a humorous detour into quoting Thelonious Monk. If music such as this session were only heard more often in film soundtracks, it would make a noticeable difference.

Biography

Born: 05 February 1944 in Sacramento, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A fine pianist, Bill Mays has often worked behind the scenes, leading to him being a somewhat overlooked jazz improviser. Mays worked in Los Angeles as a studio musician from the late '60s on, accompanying Sarah Vaughan (1972-1973) and Al Jarreau (1975), but mostly doing session work. In the early '80s, he began to record jazz as a sideman with Howard Roberts, Bud Shank, Bobby Shew, Road Work Ahead, and Mark Murphy. He recorded a duet date with Red Mitchell for ITI (1982) and led a quintet album...
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Mays At the Movies, Bill Mays
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  • 11,61 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 10 November 2009

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