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Mike Jones: Stretches Out

C. Michael Bailey By

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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 the flame, those artists not so interested in innovation as intelligent and fun reconsideration.

Mike Jones Stretches Out
finds the Berklee-trained pianist before a Las Vegas crowd at the 2001 National Association of Broadcasters Convention. He treats his rather select audience to an engaging collection of standards. He is well versed in Stride and Swing styles and more can hold his own in Be Bop (a very cool "Whispering/Groovin' High"). His left hand is impeccable, keeping that perfect Willie-"The Lion"-Smith-time (check out his walking "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" and "Sunny Side of the Street). Jones' playing is brimming with good taste and a sense of humor. I can hardly think when there will ever be too much piano music like this.

Track Listing: I Can't Give You Anything But Love; Gone With The Wind; On The Sunny Side Of The Street; Baby, Baby All The Time; Whispering/Groovin' High; Stares Fell On Alabama; Dream Dancing; Tangerine; How Deep Is The Ocean; The Curse Of An Aching Heart.

Personnel: Mike Jones: Piano

Title: Stretches Out | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Chiaroscuro Records

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