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Articles | Featured | Future

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Jones/Penn Jillette: The Show Before The Show

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If you travel to Sin City and visit the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino at the appointed time, you'll find legendary duo Penn & Teller entertaining a packed house in their namesake theater with their signature blend of magic and humor. But if you get there forty-five minutes early, you get so much more with the addition of the show before the show. That's when Penn & Teller's musical director--pianist Mike Jones--lets his Dave McKenna-style chops off the leash on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Jones Trio: Roaring

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The musical legacy of The Roaring Twenties is alive and kicking. For his second date on the Capri imprint, pianist Mike Jones decided to pull together a collection of Jazz Age nuggets and drop into the studio for a nonchalant session with bassist Katie Thiroux and drummer Matt Witek--a blue-chip rhythm duo whose musical stock has steadily been on the rise in the past few years. Jones had never recorded with the pair before, there were no rehearsals, and everything, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Jones Trio: Plays Well with Others

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Pianist Mike Jones not only Plays Well with Others, he plays well--period. Using a sharp, two-fisted style that hearkens back to Dave McKenna, Dick Hyman and even Earl Hines, undergirded by a buoyant melodicism worthy of Barry Harris, Tommy Flanagan or his namesake Hank Jones, it's clear there's not much that Jones can't accomplish musically with keyboard in hand. And when the “others" he is playing with are bassist Mike Gurrola and drummer Jeff Hamilton, so much the better.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Jones: Plays Well With Others

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Pianist Mike Jones has got a really sweet deal going. He is the opening act for the Penn and Teller Las Vegas Show. He is also now the heir apparent to the late pianist Gene Harris' commanding style of two-handed keyboard barrel housing. Harris was a master of propulsive and deliberate piano playing. He had all the firepower needed to make whatever he played: ballads, blues, jump tunes, up-tempo, no matter, when Gene Harris played something, you knew it was ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Jones: Mike Jones Stretches Out (in Las Vegas)

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I read while listening to music, as many people do. I read lots of different things: sports magazines, novels, email, psychology research papers. I love to do this, and it isn't often I listen to an album that distracts me from my reading simply by what it presents. This album was an exception, however.

I also listen to these albums as I write their reciews, so if there's a disjointed thought read here...well...forgive me.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Jones: Mike Jones Stretches Out (in Las Vegas)

Read "Mike Jones Stretches Out (in Las Vegas)" reviewed by

I read while listening to music, as many people do. I read lots of different things: sports magazines, novels, email, psychology research papers. I love to do this, and it isn't often I listen to an album that distracts me from my reading simply by what it presents. This album was an exception, however.

I also listen to these albums as I write their reciews, so if there's a disjointed thought read here...well...forgive me.

Mike Jones ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Jones: Stretches Out

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Mike Jones resides at the end of a piano lineage that includes Dick Hyman, Dave McKenna, Dick Wellstood, Ralph Sutton, and Art Hodes. All of these pianists I consider to be “full service" players. They are full service in the respect that they are fluent in most, if not all, jazz and popular styles and all possess a well-stocked repertoire of tunes. They invariably become regulars at traditional jazz functions and all have superb left hands. They are keepers of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Jones: Live At Steinway Hall

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Pianist Mike Jones is throwback musician. His music is a vestige of a time when stride and swing piano co-existed in jazz. This record made at Steinway Hall in 1997 is about a man, just one solitary man working through some classic tunes. Played any other way, making this a duo, trio, or quartet record would conceal his massive chops. Jones’ talent at the two-handed approach calls to mind Teddy Wilson, Oscar Peterson, George Shearing, and of course Art Tatum. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Jones: Live at Steinway Hall

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Buffalo native Mike Jones clearly has listened to and learned from them all, Erroll Garner, Willy “The Lion" Smith, Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell, Teddy Wilson, and Art Tatum, especially Art Tatum. The arpeggios and the emphasis on the melody-driven right hand reminds one of the master pianist. Not only is a pianist known by those who influenced him, but also by the songs he plays. On this album, all but one of the tunes are classic entries in the Great ...