175

Mike Longo Trio: Float Like A Butterfly

Marcia Hillman By

Sign in to view read count
Mike Longo Trio: Float Like A Butterfly The title of this CD says it all—the Mike Longo Trio (Longo on piano, Paul West on bass and Jimmy Wormworth on drums) takes music on a smooth flight just like a butterfly, delighting with every track.

Longo is probably one of the most underappreciated jazz pianists around. His musical history includes studying with the late Oscar Peterson (a major inspiration), playing in the Dizzy Gillespie quintet and eventually serving as Gillespie's musical director, all leading to the development of a playing style that seems completely effortless. He transits between single-note playing and chords with ease and is a most adept soloist. There is much substance in his playing and many layers, including a sense of humor that he certainly shared with Gillespie. But what impresses most here is an ability to make everything he plays sound so simple.

The material is a fresh treatment of the Great American Songbook, some jazz standards and one Longo original. Starting off with the usually bland "Girl of My Dreams," Longo reharmonizes chords and swings the tune to create an exciting offering. His sensitive readings of "Tenderly" and "Laura" and exquisite phrasing on "Dancing In The Dark" instill these well-known songs with new spirit. Also included are tunes by Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Thelonious Monk and former boss Gillespie treated with all respect they deserve. Longo's original tune, "Diminished Returns," a very slow blues that is expectedly based on diminished chords, still swings.

There is a wonderful chemistry between Longo and his cohorts as well as notable individual performances. West's lyrical playing is displayed to great advantage on "It Could Happen To You" and Gillespie's "Here Tiz" while Wormworth contributes throughout with tasty fills and punctuation, as well as fine soloing on Monk's "Evidence." Like the butterfly, this CD is a work of joy and beauty and is probably destined to be a classic.

Track Listing: Girl Of My Dreams; Dancing In The Dark; Witch Hunt; Diminished Returns; Tenderly; Blue Spirits; Everytime I See You; It Could Happen To You; Laura; Here Tiz (Impromptu); Evidence.

Personnel: Mike Longo: piano; Paul West: bass; Jimmy Wormworth: drums.

Title: Float Like A Butterfly | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Consolidated Artists Productions


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "The Evolution Suite" CD/LP/Track Review The Evolution Suite
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "Wish You Were Here" CD/LP/Track Review Wish You Were Here
by Jim Olin
Published: April 3, 2017
Read "Fugitive Beauté" CD/LP/Track Review Fugitive Beauté
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 11, 2016
Read "All These Hands" CD/LP/Track Review All These Hands
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Otterville" CD/LP/Track Review Otterville
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 11, 2016
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 11, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.