Any album that's recorded in a place called Maggie's Farm has to be a listening treat, and the latest from the Bill Mays Trio is just that. The salubrious effects of living and working in the bucolic setting of the Delaware Water Gap is reflected in the relaxed, serene and languid playing of this group as it pays tribute to that most languid of all seasons, Summer. The play list is filled with songs dedicated to this time of the year, most familiar, but also with an original contributed from each member of the trio. Each cut is a gem. An unusual arrangement of the 1939 Glenn Miller hit "Indian Summer" is one of the album's highlights as is an inventive Matt Wilson penned "(Gotta Go to) Summer School". The latter starts off with fugue like figures, sequing into a blues format, naturally. Is any kid happy going to school during the summer? The essence of the season is captured on the last track," Once upon a Summertime," which accentuates the close musical bond between Mays, the delicate lines laid down by Martin Wind's bass and the gently inquisitive snare and cymbal of Matt Wilson. The jagged piano and probing drums on "Fireflies" cleverly replicates the darting and dashing of these illusive flying night lights.
With the special attention given to the melody - -always cleanly executed - - and the lilting rhapsodizing which is characteristic of this performing confederation, the Bill Mays Trio may be the closest thing to a magical threesome since the Bill Evans Trio with Scott La Faro and Paul Motian. It just doesn't get any better than this. Highly recommended. Visit Bill Mays at his Internet home at http://sonatabop.com/billmays.html.