Jon Mayer: Nightscape (2010)

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Jon Mayer: Nightscape
Jon Mayer was working professionally as a jazz pianist as a teen back in the '50s, while attending the Manhattan School of Music. As well as working as a sideman with Tony Scott
Tony Scott
Tony Scott
1921 - 2007
clarinet
, Kenny Dorham
Kenny Dorham
Kenny Dorham
1924 - 1972
trumpet
, Chet Baker
Chet Baker
Chet Baker
1929 - 1988
trumpet
, the Thad Jones
Thad Jones
Thad Jones
1923 - 1986
trumpet
/Mel Lewis
Mel Lewis
Mel Lewis
1929 - 1990
drums
Orchestra, Sarah Vaughan
Sarah Vaughan
Sarah Vaughan
1924 - 1990
vocalist
and others, along with taking part in record dates with John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
and Jackie McLean
Jackie McLean
Jackie McLean
1932 - 2006
sax, alto
, Mayer contributed original pop songs to a number of vocalist record dates, though he did not make his recording debut as a leader until 1995 with Round Up the Usual Suspects (Pullen Music).

During the past decade, Mayer has found a home with Reservoir; Nightscape is his fifth CD for the label, all of which feature seasoned bassist Rufus Reid
Rufus Reid
Rufus Reid
b.1944
bass, acoustic
, while this is the third date with drummer Roy McCurdy
Roy McCurdy
Roy McCurdy
b.1936
drums
. Mayer doesn't attempt to dazzle with his technique, preferring to draw in with his variations on each theme. His upbeat setting of Ray Noble's "The Touch of Your Lips" and breezy take of Cole Porter
Cole Porter
Cole Porter
1891 - 1964
composer/conductor
's "So in Love" are fine examples of what a veteran instrumentalist can do with time-tested standards. He is equally at home with familiar jazz works, working a bit of dissonance into the theme of Oscar Pettiford
Oscar Pettiford
Oscar Pettiford
1922 - 1960
bass
's lively bop vehicle "Bohemia After Dark," and navigating the often tricky path of Horace Silver
Horace Silver
Horace Silver
1928 - 2014
piano
's infrequently recorded "Room 608."

Any jazz musician worth his salt searches for overlooked gems, and Mayer uncovers one with Harold Land
Harold Land
Harold Land
1928 - 2001
sax, tenor
's late '70s ballad, "Rapture," an infectious medium-tempo performance buoyed by a soft ostinato bass line. Mayer's writing skills are also showcased: the dreamy title ballad suggests a walk home late on a perfect Manhattan spring evening, while the softly swaggering "Blues Junction" showcases the much-in-demand Reid in the solo spotlight.

Track Listing: The Touch of Your Lips; Blues Junction; Day By Day; Nightscape; Rapture: Room 608; Dancing in the Dark; Bohemia After Dark; Theme For Ernie: Once I Loved; So in Love.

Personnel: Jon Mayer: piano; Rufus Reid: bass; Roy McCurdy: drums.

Record Label: Reservoir Music

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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