3

Mike Jones Trio: Plays Well with Others

Jack Bowers 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.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Capri Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Find Your Wings" CD/LP/Track Review Find Your Wings
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 5, 2016
Read "Eros" CD/LP/Track Review Eros
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 15, 2016
Read "The Journey" CD/LP/Track Review The Journey
by James Nadal
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "Noumenon" CD/LP/Track Review Noumenon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Cactus" CD/LP/Track Review Cactus
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 24, 2016
Read "Reinvented" CD/LP/Track Review Reinvented
by Jim Olin
Published: February 27, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!