All too often in life, people find themselves reminiscing about their past accomplishments, only wishing they could go back in time to pick up where they left off. Unfortunately, many never get the opportunity to try again. New York-based drummer Justin Page
, however, is an exception. The album, Lost And Found
, is an excellent comeback for this talented artist.
Page was something of a child prodigy who became active in the jazz scene from an early age. He was the youngest musician to perform at the Newport Jazz Festival when he was 11, and he has performed with artists such as Kevin Hays
, Bill Charlap
, and Justin Robinson
. He also studied songwriting with Leonard Bernstein
During his adult life, though, Page took a different career path than music. For years, he worked professionally as a technology consultant. His interest in music, however, was always an important part of his life. He never stopped playing or practicing, and he also assumed that there would be plenty of time to eventually go back and start playing music professionally again. But in 2013, he was diagnosed with ALS, and he decided to return to music upon hearing the news.
In an amazing turn of events, Page learned that the original diagnosis was incorrect, and his condition was actually treatable. By this time, of course, he had already made his career change. Page describes the situation at this time: "When I learned it wasn't ALS, it was too late. I'm back!" This is good news for jazz lovers, because he is an exceptionally talented musician who has a lot to offer.
With Lost And Found
, Page reunites with some of his childhood friends, who have become respected musicians in their own right. Along with Page playing drums, the album features Doug Weiss
on bass, Kevin Hays
on piano, and Justin Robinson
on alto saxophone. The group has a definite chemistry, resulting in a satisfying mix of straight-ahead jazz. Lost and Found
offers a mixture of standards along with newer compositions. The standards included, however, aren't the usual suspects. The songs featured such as "Moon Song," "You Don't Know What Love Is" and "Poinciana" don't seem to get covered as often as many other standards. The album also includes more contemporary selections such as Al Foster
's "The Chief," and Joshua Redman
's "Hide and Seek."
All of the musicians featured work together seamlessly. There is a tight balance among all of the players that gives each song a unique quality. Page's drums and Weiss' bass are always in the pocket, and Hays and Robinson carry the melodies and improvisation with a sense of flawless communication. These players sound like they have been playing together continuously for years. Lost And Found
is a major achievement and an important step in Page's musical journey. Along with this recording, he has also been involved in helping fellow musicians affected by COVID-19, and he is currently working on another album. It's refreshing to see someone like Justin Page bringing such positive energy into the music scene.
Moon Song; The Chief; You You Don't Know
What Love Is; Hide and Seek; Poinciana.