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Jon Mayer

Jon was born in New York City in 1938. There was a piano in the family apartment as his mother studied classical music and practiced as he went to sleep each night. He was exposed to jazz at an early age through recordings around the house of various big and small bands. Jon heard Charlie Parker play on a JATP (Jazz at the Philharmonic) concert recording and decided that Alto was his instrument. That lasted until the final year at the special music High School he attended. The piano became central in his life around then and his passion for the jazz being played around the city was all consuming.

The evolution continued after graduating from the famed High School of Music and Art in Manhattan(1956) and briefly attending the Manhattan School of Music. Mayer then became a regularly appearing member of the thriving NYC music scene playing with Kenny Dorham, Tony Scott, Pete LaRoca and Ray Draper. Eventually he recorded with two of the greatest saxophonists ever: Jackie McLean on Strange Blues (Prestige/OJC) and John Coltrane on a session known as the legendary "I Talk With The Trees" date and finally issued in 1990 as part of Coltrane’s Like Sonny (Roulette). He had a chance to hear, meet and play with some of the foremost musicians working in New York in this formative period. Among them were Jackie McLean, Kai Winding, John Coltrane, Freddy Hubbard, Kenny Dorham, Art Blakey, Lee Morgan, Art Taylor, Donald Byrd, Wayne Shorter, Elvin Jones, Bill Evans, Tony Scott, Booker Little, Milt Jackson, Max Roach, George Coleman, John Lewis, Jimmy Garrison and Paul Bley. He studied for brief periods with John Mehegan and Hall Overton.

1959 found Jon working in Paris at `Au Chat Qui Peche’ as part of a trio with Chuck Israels and Arnie Wise. It happened that the pianist he was working opposite was none other than Bud Powell. That summer included a night at the Blue Note with Chet Baker, Kenny Clarke and Pierre Michelot.

In the ‘60s and ‘70s, Mayer remained active, playing in both New York and Europe with the likes of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, Dionne Warwick, Sarah Vaughan and the Manhattan Transfer, and writing songs recorded by Les McCann, Nancy Wilson and others.

Then due to numerous causes, he all but disappeared, entering a 13-year period of inactivity during which he rarely performed. But by 1991, Mayer was ready to return to music. He settled in Los Angeles and once again seriously pursued his career in the jazz world. People who heard him, initially with McCann’s Magic Band and as a leader, were readily impressed with his artistry, characterized by a supple and relaxed rhythmic feel and a keen sense of melodicism in his solos. Here was an authentic jazz musician, an artist who desired, as did Charlie Parker when stating his own personal goal, to play fast and clean and go for the pretty notes.

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ALLABOUTJAZZ.COM So Many Stars Jon Mayer | Reservoir Music (2007) By C. Michael Bailey comments

The craft of the jazz piano trio is a challenging one; and in a sea of fine trio recordings, it is hard to come by a performance that is just not merely good, as most are, but sublime. When one comes along; it is time to be excited, and So Many Stars is the one to be excited about. What are the ingredients of the perfect jazz piano trio recording? One is competent leadership, in this case pianist Jon Mayer, whose previous recordings��"My Romance (Reservoir Music, 2005), The Classics (Reservoir Music, 2004), Full Circle (Reservoir Music, 2002), and Rip Van Winkle (Blue Moon, 2000)��"have all been well-received

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Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Late Bloomin' Jazzman

Cafe Pacific Records


L.A. Source Codes

Self Produced


Live at the Athenaeum

BluePort Records



Reservoir Music


Best Of Love Songs

OpenArt Productions



From: L.A. Source Codes
By Jon Mayer


James Morrison

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