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Live At Jazz Standard

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Album Review

Bill Mays has long been an underrated but valuable pianist on the jazz scene. In addition to his extensive studio work, his career includes stints with Sarah Vaughan, Al Jarreau, Bud Shank, Bobby Shew, Mark Murphy, Gerry Mulligan, James Moody, Sonny Stitt, and Art Pepper. He has also recorded at least 13 albums as a leader. That said, Live at Jazz Standard is one of Bill Mays' finest recordings. Teamed in a trio with bassist Martin Wind and drummer Matt Wilson, Mays digs into two originals and eight diverse standards. On material ranging from "How Are Things in Glocca Morra," Thelonious Monk's "Let's Call This," and Ornette Coleman's "When Will the Blues Leave" to Charlie Chaplin's "Smile," Mays is consistently inventive, using dynamics and changes in mood quite effectively. Wind's bowed solos and Wilson's stimulating playing clearly inspired Bill Mays to play at his very best and every selection has its surprises. This set, which revitalizes the piano trio within modern mainstream jazz, is highly recommended.


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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Live At Jazz Standard, Bill Mays Trio
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