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Jon Mayer: Full Circle

C. Michael Bailey By

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Trio Rioï

Veteran New York musician Jon Mayer debuts on Reservoir Records with a balmy trio set that takes full advantage of Mr. Mayer's experience as a hard bop pianist. Mr. Mayer's credentials are impressive. In the early to mid 1950s, Mayer performed with Pete LaRoca and Ray Draper before moving on to Kenny Dorman's big band and then replacing Bill Evans in clarinetist Tony Scott's quartet. He went on to record with Jackie McLean, John Coltrane, and Les McCann. Mr. Mayer arrives here with Full Circle, his follow-up to the well-received Rip Van Winkle: Live at the Jazz Bakery (Fresh sound 5027, 1998).

Full Circle opens on the hot side with Mayer's own "Round Up the Usual Suspects." This is followed by a tense "Night and Day," highlighting Mayer's block approach to melody. Mr. Mayer covers Oliver Nelson's brilliant "Stolen Moments" with great care and respect, all the while injecting this gold standard with humor and grace. The disc ends with a humidly pensive "I Should Care," preceded by an impressionistic take on J.J. Johnson's "Lament."

Full Circle marks the return of Jon Mayer to New York. He allied himself with the bionic rhythm section of Rufus Reid and victor Lewis, both of whom provided a perfect backdrop to Mayer's pianistic statements. More than a decent trio recording, Full Circle deserves a long look as it surfaces from the sea of current trio offerings.

Track Listing: Round Up The Usual Suspects; Night And Day; Day Dream; For All We Know; From Now On; Full Circle; Stolen Moments; Falling In Love With Love; Lament; I Should Care. (Total Time: 73:53).

Personnel: Jon Mayer-- piano; Rufus Reid-- bass; Victor Lewis-- drums.

Title: Full Circle | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Reservoir Music

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