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Mike Longo Trio Live At the Detroit Jazz Festival

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Album Review

On his first live album, 63-year-old pianist Mike Longo turns in a foolproof trio session devoted entirely to standards. "My Funny Valentine" and an extended medley of songs from Porgy & Bess are included, but for the most part the selections are jazz evergreens by Longo's longtime employer, Dizzy Gillespie ("Fiesta Mojo," "Tin Tin Deo," "A Night in Tunisia"), Thelonious Monk ("Rhythm-A-Ning," "'Round Midnight"), John Coltrane ("Trane's Blues"), and Wayne Shorter ("Footprints"). This is such familiar material from the bop and post-bop eras of the '50s and '60s that the question immediately becomes: What can Longo and his cohorts — bassist Santi Debriano and drummer Ray Mosca — do with it that hasn't been done before? The obvious answer — at least with the Gillespie, Coltrane, and Shorter tunes — is that they can present the songs in piano-trio arrangements when they were first written for horn bands. That in itself gives the music a very different feel. But Longo also distinguishes himself on the piano-based Monk compositions, while never turning away from Monk's own interpretations. Longo is as much a jazz educator as he is a jazz musician, and this album can be seen in some ways as a class in the basics of bop, at least as it applies to the piano trio.


Born: 19 March 1939 in Cincinnati, OH

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Mike Longo is best-known as a reliable and versatile player who was the pianist with Dizzy Gillespie during 1966-1973. He started taking piano lessons when he was three, played professionally when he was 15, and while in high school in Ft. Lauderdale, he had the opportunity to play with Cannonball Adderley. In 1960, Longo worked at the Metropole in New York with Red Allen and Coleman Hawkins, spent 1961 living in Toronto (where he studied with Oscar Peterson), and then returned to New York, where...
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Top Albums and Songs by Mike Longo

Mike Longo Trio Live At the Detroit Jazz Festival, Mike Longo
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Bop
  • Released: 25 February 2003

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