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ALBUM REVIEWS

Bill Mays and Friends: Mays Plays Mays

Read "Mays Plays Mays" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Apart from whatever else it may entail, Mays Plays Mays surpasses most other recent enterprises thanks in large measure to pianist Bill Mays' singular artistry as composer, arranger and keyboard master. Now well into his seventh decade, Mays, who has made his living playing mostly other people's music, has devoted this album (for the most part) to his own songs and charts, even appending lyrics to (and singing on) a pair of them ("Play Song," whose lyric is by Mays' ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bill Mays and Friends: Mays Plays Mays

Read "Mays Plays Mays" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

In a career that has flourished for more than half a century and shows no signs whatsoever of slowing down, pianist, composer and author Bill Mays has always been known for his immaculate technique, distinctive creativity, swing and wit. Few players on any instrument are this consistently light-hearted, whether it is reflected in spontaneous and funny quoting or the clearly audible fact that this genuinely happy man is, quite literally, “playing" music to delight himself, as well as the listener. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bill Mays Inventions Trio: Life's a Movie

Read "Life's a Movie" reviewed by Jack Bowers

For pianist Bill Mays' Inventions Trio, the third time is indeed a charm, as it would be difficult to find music more charming than that performed by Mays, trumpeter Marvin Stamm and cellist Alisa Horn on Life's a Movie, the trio's third album together (and first for Chiaroscuro Records). This is “chamber jazz" of the highest order, with the classically trained Horn complementing perfectly the jazz-inflected sorties of Mays and Stamm in a program whose beauty is equaled only by ...

INTERVIEWS

Bill Mays: Inventions, Conventions and Dimensions

Read "Bill Mays: Inventions, Conventions and Dimensions" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

This title is more than a rhyme: it's an attempt to capture some of the legendary versatility of pianist Bill Mays. “Inventions" refers to his unprecedented, working jazz trio of piano, trumpet, and cello. “Conventions" is a nod to his invaluable contribution to the annual meeting of the International Society of Bassists (in 2013, he played 21 rehearsals and 24 concerts during the week). Finally, “dimensions" reflects his multifaceted musical accomplishments, which include soundtracks for TV and movies--for example, his ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bill Mays: Mays at the Movies

Read "Mays at the Movies" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

Bill Mays has spent much of his career as a first-call studio pianist in Hollywood, accompanying singers like Sarah Vaughan and Al Jarreau, and playing on movie soundtracks. Moreover, his most recent CDs have involved his innovative third-stream group, The Inventions Trio, with trumpeter Marvin Stamm and cellist Alisa Horn. As a result, Mays's profile may be a bit lower than some who spend more time in the jazz performance spotlight. But he's also one of the most intelligent, fluent, ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Bill Mays: Solo and Trio

Read "Bill Mays: Solo and Trio" reviewed by Ken Dryden

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Bill Mays is a veteran artist with an extensive musical resumé, having taken part in all kinds of session work, ranging from movie soundtracks to jazz, backing vocalists and even working with Frank Zappa! Mays paid his dues as a sideman with Sarah Vaughan, Bud Shank and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bill Mays: Fantasy

Read "Fantasy" reviewed by Ralph A. Miriello

For those who have never seriously incorporated classical music in their musical diet, Fantasy, the new crossover album from pianist Bill Mays, trumpeter extraordinaire Marvin Stamm and cellist Alisa Horn, collectively known as The Inventions Trio, is a good starting point for some exposure to classical pieces rendered with a sensibility toward improvisation.

Mays, perhaps best known for his longtime association with the marvelous singer Sarah Vaughn, is a consummate musician who has taken classical works from Rachmaninoff, ...


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