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Jon Mayer

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Primary Instrument: Piano

Born: October 7, 1938    

Jon Mayer

Jon was born in New York City in 1938. There was a piano in the family apartment as his mother studied classical music and practiced as he went to sleep each night. He was exposed to jazz at an early age through recordings around the house of various big and small bands. Jon heard Charlie Parker play on a JATP (Jazz at the Philharmonic) concert recording and decided that Alto was his instrument. That lasted until the final year at the special music High School he attended. The piano became central in his life around then and his passion for the jazz being played around the city was all consuming....
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ALLABOUTJAZZ.COM So Many Stars Jon Mayer | Reservoir Music (2007) By C. Michael Bailey comments

The craft of the jazz piano trio is a challenging one; and in a sea of fine trio recordings, it is hard to come by a performance that is just not merely good, as most are, but sublime. When one comes along; it is time to be excited, and So Many Stars is the one to be excited about. What are the ingredients of the perfect jazz piano trio recording? One is competent leadership, in this case pianist Jon Mayer, whose previous recordings”My Romance (Reservoir Music, 2005), The Classics (Reservoir Music, 2004), Full Circle (Reservoir Music, 2002), and Rip Van Winkle (Blue Moon, 2000)”have all been well-received. Mayer possesses a sensitive East-West balance in his music, having started in New York City and presently finding himself in sunny Southern California. While his playing is all bebop, he does combine the best of both coasts’ elements to make that bebop. A secondary essential element to the perfect piano trio recording is an empathic rhythm section. In any larger combo (quartet, quintet), the piano, bass and drums are the rhythm section. Only in the trio can the bass and drums alone be considered the rhythm section. Mayer employs the unparalleled talents of Atlanta cum NYC native bassist Rufus Reid and NYC cum Southern California native drummer Roy McCurdy. Both men have been in heavy demand in the past 20 years, having collectively played with Sonny Stitt, James Moody, Milt Jackson, Curtis Fuller, Cannonball Adderley, Bobby Timmons and Dizzy Gillespie. Mayer certainly has the juice to pull together a fine trio. A third necessary ingredient for a great trio recording is the repertoire. Mayer has chosen a bright mix of jazz standards, ballads, blues and original compositions for So Many Stars. Mayer dips into both the Great American Songbook and other jazz standards equally. For the former, the band produces airy, light-as-a-feather versions of Jules Styne’s “Never Never Land” and Cole Porter’s “All of You.” For the latter, Mayer and his stead attack Cedar Walton’s “Holy Land,” Horace Silver’s “Nica’s Dream” and Miles Davis’ “Blues By Five,” infusing them with a quiet fire and precision previously only seen in the Fred Hersch trios of the mid-1990s. Mayer’s originals also shine bright. A lengthy “Rip Van Winkle” anchors the center of the disc with a blues patina on a ballad platform. Rufus Reid is particularly effective here, delivering exacting support and inventive soloing. Reid walks, strolls and jumps with Mayer and McCurdy, performing a veritable soft shoe in time. “Bopzilla” is Mayer’s tribute to the spawn of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, recalling an interesting combination of Bud Powell crossed with Red Garland. What a fine recording to end the year with. Visit Jon Mayer on the web. 
Jon Mayer at All About Jazz. 
Track listing: Holy Land; You’re My Everything; Nica’s Dream; Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most; Jeannine; Rip Van Winkle; Bopzilla; So Many Stars; Blues By Five; Never Never Land; All of You. Personnel: Jon Mayer: piano; Rufus Reid: bass; Roy McCurdy: drums. Style: Mainstream | Published: December 12, 2007

  • Nightscape

    Reservoir Music
    2010
    BUY
  • Nightscape

    Reservoir Music
    2009
    BUY
  • So Many Stars

    Reservoir Music
    2007
    BUY
  • The Classics

    Reservoir Music
    2004
    BUY
  • Full Circle

    Reservoir Music
    2002
    BUY

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Primary Instrument:
Piano

Location:
Arcadia, CA

Willing to teach:
Beginners

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CD/LP/Track Review

Nightscape by Ken Dryden

Nightscape by Bruce Lindsay

So Many Stars by C. Michael Bailey

The Classics by Ken Franckling

Artist Profiles

Jon Mayer

CD/LP/Track Review

The Classics by J. Robert Bragonier

Full Circle by C. Michael Bailey

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Featured recording “Nightscape”

Nightscape
Reservoir Music (2010)

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