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Danny Mixon: Pass It On

Mark Sullivan By

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Track review of "Infant Eyes & Yes Or No"

Despite his low profile, veteran pianist Danny Mixon has quite a history. His career has included stints playing with Betty Carter, Kenny Dorham, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Frank Foster, Grant Green, Pharoah Sanders, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Charles Mingus, and many others. Most of Pass It On finds him alternating between solos and trios. Many of the songs chosen come from the usual sources: Duke Ellington ("Single Petal of a Rose"), Thelonious Monk ("Blue Monk"), and the Great American Songbook ("On A Clear Day," "Memories of You," "The Very Thought of You").

The program also includes two Wayne Shorter compositions, in contrasting arrangements. The ballad "Infant Eyes" from Speak No Evil (Blue Note, 1965) is played solo, with romantic piano flourishes closer to the late Oscar Peterson than original pianist Herbie Hancock. "Yes Or No" from JuJu (Blue Note, 1964) gets an up-tempo piano trio rendition, accompanied by bassist Bryce Sebastien and drummer McClenty Hunter. Brimming with energy, and pianistically much closer to original pianist McCoy Tyner.

Unusual choices for a mainstream jazz piano date, and a welcome change of pace.

Track Listing: Blue Monk; Infant Eyes; On a Clear Day; Memories of You; Up Jumped Spring; The Very Thought of You; Yes or No; My Blues; The Sample Way; Single Petal of a Rose; That's All; Minton's.

Personnel: Danny Mixon: piano; Marcus McLaurine: bass; Rudy Lawless: drums; Damon Duewhite: drums; Ghanniyya Green: vocalist; Bryce Sebastien: bass; Paul Ramsey: bass: McClenty Hunter: drums; Fred Staton: sax.

Title: Pass It On | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced

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