158

Mike Wofford Trio: Live at Athenaeum Jazz

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Mike Wofford Trio: Live at Athenaeum Jazz Mike Wofford is one of those unsung yet enormously talented pianists (there are a lot of them) whose names rarely surface in the so-called "best of popularity contests (excuse me, polls) conducted by various jazz periodicals. One of the reasons, of course, is that Wofford makes his home in San Diego; another, closely related to the first, is that he hasn't the name recognition of a Keith Jarrett, McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, Kenny Barron, Hank Jones, Cecil Taylor, Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock... the list goes on.

But despite keeping a relatively low profile, Wofford manages to stay quite busy, accompanying some of the country's finest musicians and performing regularly at venues large and small. Among the places he has visited often is the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in nearby La Jolla, California, which presents a year-round program of music including Jazz at the Athenaeum, which was begun in 1989. Live at Athenaeum Jazz, recorded in November of 2003, is the series' first publicly issued recording.

Wofford marked the occasion by assembling a trio whose rhythmic element consists of two of New York City's most prominent and busiest sidemen, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Victor Lewis. The choices could hardly have been better—and not only because Washington and Lewis are among my favorite players. They know instinctively what Wofford has in mind, and they carry out their assignments with casual precision.

The program Wofford has chosen is bright and engaging. The opening ballad, "My Old Flame, is followed by Ellington's "Take the Coltrane, originals by Conte Candoli ("Macedonia ) and Lewis ("Dex-Mex ), a medley of Leonard Bernstein's "Lucky to Be Me and Ellington's "I'm Just a Lucky So and So, and Sting's "It's Probably Me. Wofford closes with one of Irving Berlin's loveliest and most neglected treasures, "The Best Thing for You.

Wofford plays marvelously throughout, as do Washington and Lewis (who introduces "Probably Me with a nearly four-minute solo and rumbles again on the fast-paced "Dex-Mex ). Everyone is clearly enjoying the moment, and when Wofford sculpts an unaccompanied rendition of "Lucky to Be Me, one can appreciate that he truly believes it. A stylish concert by three superlative musicians.

Visit Mike Wofford on the web.


Track Listing: My Old Flame; Take the Coltrane; Macedonia; Dex-Mex; Medley: Lucky to Be Me/Im Just a Lucky So and So; Its Probably Me; The Best Thing for You (60:13).

Personnel: Mike Wofford, piano; Peter Washington, bass; Victor Lewis, drums.

Year Released: 2004 | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Alto Manhattan" CD/LP/Track Review Alto Manhattan
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Black Ice" CD/LP/Track Review Black Ice
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 6, 2016
Read "Summergold Promises" CD/LP/Track Review Summergold Promises
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "Silk & Steel" CD/LP/Track Review Silk & Steel
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Lovers
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: September 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!