Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Mike Jones Trio: Plays Well with Others

3

Mike Jones Trio: Plays Well with Others

By

Sign in to view read count
Mike Jones Trio: Plays Well with Others
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.

Gurrola represents a step up from Jones' "regular" bassist, the magician Penn Jillette, with whom "Jonesy" (Jillette's pet name for him) has been sharing the stage for more than a decade as the opening act preceding Penn and Teller's popular Las Vegas comedy / magic show. Jillette "found" Jones playing at a Las Vegas nightspot and let him know he could open for Penn and Teller with one proviso, that the neophyte Jillette would be his bassist. Given that choice, what could Jones do? He and Jillette have been performing together ever since.

Happily (for the listener), Jillette generously stepped aside for this recording date to make room for Gurrola. Add the perceptive and resourceful Hamilton and you have a piano trio that can stand its ground against any other. While Jones sets the tone with his bright and engaging melodic lines and clever ad libs, Gurrola and Hamilton provide the rhythmic muscle and unwavering support that keep the motor humming and the bus moving forward. And even though Jones has technique to burn, he is thoroughly at ease with a ballad, as he shows on "September Song," "I Know Why," "I Thought About You" and "Detour Ahead" (the last sans Gurrola and Hamilton). The session harbors a pair of charming blues ("Box Viewing Blues," "Obscuro Blues"), both written by Jones, to chaperon the tunes already named plus the standards "Besame Mucho," "It's a Wonderful World," "Day by Day," "Deed I Do" and "I'm Old Fashioned," Consuelo Velazquez' "Besame Mucho," Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Corcovado" and Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin.'"

"Magicians' hands aren't quicker than the eye," Penn Jillette writes, "but Jonesey's fingers might be." While quickness is assuredly a virtue, so is the ability to produce beautiful music at any tempo. Jones, Gurrola and Hamilton are aces-high in both areas, traits that help make Plays Well with Others a superlative piano trio recording.

Track Listing

Besame Mucho; It’s A Wonderful World; September Song; I Know Why And So Do You; Box Viewing Blues; Detour Ahead; Day By Day; Corcovado; I’m Walkin’; Deed I Do; I’m Old Fashioned; I Thought About You; Obscuro Blues.

Personnel

Mike Jones: piano; Mike Gurrola: bass; Jeff Hamilton: drums.

Album information

Title: Plays Well With Others | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Capri Records

Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

Eagle's Point
Chris Potter
Can You Hear It?
Mikko Innanen / Cedric Piromalli / Stefan Pasborg
Elegy for Thelonious
Frank Carlberg Large Ensemble

Popular

Jazz Hands
Bob James
Esengo
London Afrobeat Collective
Light Streams
John Donegan - The Irish Sextet

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.