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The Mike Longo Trio: Still Swingin'

Jim Santella By

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The Mike Longo Trio: Still Swingin' Timeless standards from an intimate piano trio bring a lasting impression when they swing. As Mike Longo tells it at jazzbeat.com , "The motivation for making a CD of this nature came as a result of my watching the Ken Burns special on Jazz." Later, he confesses: "I thought, 'There has got to be a contemporary equivalent to this!'" Longo's session preserves the timeless swing quality of the music, while placing it in a contemporary setting. A veteran jazz artist who has spent a lifetime sharing his ideas with audiences, Mike Longo studied piano at the Cincinnati Conservatory from age 4. He turned professional while still in his early teens and later earned a degree in classical piano. Clear influences on his piano style include Dizzy Gillespie and Oscar Peterson.

Clear and crisp, Longo’s technique exhibits the Peterson influence emphatically. He studied at the Advanced School of Contemporary Music in Chicago run by Peterson and Ray Brown for 6 months. His one-on-one sessions with the maestro have left their mark. Sparkling right-hand cascades punctuate Longo’s improvised solos. His tight trio converses and supports one another with subdued passion. Mellow and steady for the most part, Longo’s session summarizes the swing element present in mainstream jazz. It’s comfortable, and we get a “massage from the inside out” when we sit and listen uninterrupted. The pianist likes to inject familiar quotes from other tunes wile improvising. It’s always fun to pick them out. Recommended, Mike Longo’s latest album brings back an emphasis on swing, while capturing the essence of timeless, piano trio jazz.


Track Listing: All or Nothing At All; How High the Moon; Trane's Blues; It Never Entered My Mind; Oleo; Wildflower; I Didn't Know What Time It Was; The Night Is Love; Without a Song; From This Moment On; Bones; Savannah Calling.

Personnel: Mike Longo- piano; Ben Brown- bass; Ray Mosca- drums.

Title: Still Swingin' | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: CAP


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