105

Mike Wofford Trio: Live at the Anthenaeum Jazz

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
My perspective, speaking as a reviewer with access to large amounts of music, may not be that of the average fan, but 2004 seems to be shaping up as the year of outstanding piano trio work by higher profile players like Keith Jarrett and Brad Mehldau, as well as by a slew of lesser-known but no less talented artists like Randy Halberstadt ( Parallel Tracks, Origin Records), Satoko Fuji ( Illusion Suite, NatSat Records), and now Mike Wofford, with Live at Anthenaeum Jazz.

This set mixes some lesser-known standards—"My Old Flame," Ellington's "Take the Coltrane," Irving Berlin's "The Best Thing for You"—with the unfamiliar and exotic "Macedonia" (which sounds just like its title: full of gentle, smooth-flowing syllables), along with a Sting tune, "It's Probably Me."

Wofford, who worked as musical director for Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald, has played with everyone: Art Pepper, Benny Golson, Bud Shank, James Moody, and for the past fifteen years flutist Holly Hofmann. His sound reflects a classical touch and a huge technical proficiency mixed with a soulfullness and invention—a sort of cross between Bill Evans and Oscar Peterson. And he sometimes dashes off zingy right hand splashes that flow into pretty runs and rivults of intricate notes; this skilled player doesn't eschew playfulness—check out the short right hand detour in a "Surrey with the Fringe on Top" on Berlin's "The Best Thing for You."

Wofford's rhythm team here, the always on-mark Peter Washington on bass and Victor Lewis on drums, perform to perfection, by turns insistent, laid-back, bouncing or propulsive, and always in sync with the pianist's ideas.

And the sound quality: remarkable! Gone are the days when you could dismiss most live sets out of hand, for murky, muddled, ill-mixed sonics. The band sounds sharp and clean here, like these three musicians are playing in your living room.

A top notch piano trio set!

Track Listing: My Old Flame, Take the Coltrane, Macedonia, Dex-Mex, Medley: Lucky to Be Me/I'm Just a Lucky So and So, It's Probably Me, The Best Thing for You

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

Title: Live at the Anthenaeum Jazz | Year Released: 2004


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Moment Frozen CD/LP/Track Review Moment Frozen
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Minor Step CD/LP/Track Review Minor Step
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 19, 2017
Read A Meeting Of Spirits CD/LP/Track Review A Meeting Of Spirits
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2017
Read First Light CD/LP/Track Review First Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "Loafer's Hollow" CD/LP/Track Review Loafer's Hollow
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 4, 2017
Read "Enter the PlusTet" CD/LP/Track Review Enter the PlusTet
by Troy Collins
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "The Eighth Hour Of Amduat" CD/LP/Track Review The Eighth Hour Of Amduat
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 17, 2017
Read "Crop Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Crop Circles
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "The Swimmer" CD/LP/Track Review The Swimmer
by Phil Barnes
Published: March 4, 2017
Read "Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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