105

Mike Wofford Trio: Live at the Anthenaeum Jazz

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Mike Wofford Trio: Live at the Anthenaeum Jazz 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 Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Together, As One" CD/LP/Track Review Together, As One
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Il Dodicesimo Nano" CD/LP/Track Review Il Dodicesimo Nano
by Jim Olin
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "Live In The South Bronx" CD/LP/Track Review Live In The South Bronx
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Allied Forces" CD/LP/Track Review Allied Forces
by David A. Orthmann
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)" CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Colour And Movement" CD/LP/Track Review Colour And Movement
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 9, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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