After years of performing from within the Los Angeles studio scene, Bill Mays (now a denizen of New York City), serenades the dawning of summer 2001, with this exquisite and quietly powerful trio recording aptly titled, Summer Sketches.
On his 'Palmetto Records' debut, the pianist along with bassist Martin Wind and drummer Matt Wilson commence the proceedings with the sounds of mother nature going about her business as they set the stage for a series of group originals and theme-based standards. With the opener, 'Summer Night', the trio engages in an elegant swing motif, marked by Mays' animated lines and lush actualization of the primary melody, although the band dabbles with free form notions on their polyrhythmic and sprightly rendition of 'Summer Sketch'. Matt Wilson's composition, '(Gotta Go To) Summer School' is reminiscent of a Texas roadhouse blues, sparked by Mays' limber yet straightforward blues motifs and the drummer' often melodic fills and counterbalancing statements.
The band finalizes this most attractive set with, 'Once Upon A Summertime'. Here, Mays' poignant thematic inventions, enhanced by trills, well placed harmonics and articulate voicings are supplemented by Wind and Wilson's fragile accompaniment. Hence, Summer Sketches, is teeming with lucid imagery and stylish interplay, augmented by a top-notch audio production! Recommended