In the Alvas Showroom in San Pedro, California will be the launch of the new album by pianist Mike Jones "Plays Well With Others".
This has been a great meeting of three great contemporary jazz: Jones on piano, Mike Gurrola on bass and Jeff Hamilton on drums, promoted by Capri Records.
Mike Jones is a pianist playing timeless jazz. The man recreates a lost jazz art form. He has made a mission of carrying on the tradition of two handed solo piano jazz with a new twist. Mike’s music encompasses styles ranging from James P. Johnson and Fats Waller through Art Tatum and up to Dave McKenna and Oscar Peterson.
For years, Mike performed at the finest jazz clubs in the Northeast, including Zinno, and Toast in New York, and Scullers and the Regatta Bar in Boston. Mike even appeared daily on the Nancy Merrill Show, a live television show on the CBS affiliate WHDH Channel 7 in Boston, before finding himself on stage nightly with Penn and Teller in Las Vegas. Since 1993,
Mike has been on Hank O’Neal’s legendary jazz label, Chiaroscuro. In 1999, Mike was featured, along with Oscar Peterson, Clark Terry, Shirley Horn, and Monty Alexander at the 17th annual Floating Jazz Festival, held on board the Queen Elizabeth II. In 2000, Mike was on board again, this time with Roy Hargrove, John Hendricks, and Diane Schurr. He has also been featured on the Norwegian Cruise Lines Jazz Festival, and at the Ultimate Caribbean Jazz Spectacular. His first release, “Oh! Look At Me Now!” went on to become the Chiarascuro’s best selling title by a new artist. His follow up, “Runnin’ Wild”, was released in 1996 to critical acclaim. When his third release “Live At Steinway Hall” launched in 1997, Mike became a much sought-after solo live performer.
Since relocating to Las Vegas, Mike has recorded several more CD’s, including “Stretches Out”, with liner notes by Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller, and “The Tamburr-Jones Trio” recorded at the Vintage Nude Studios with world class vibes player, Christian Tamburr. “Music to Look at Boxes By”, a compilation of songs from the Penn and Teller pre-show features the Mystery Bass Player from the Mike Jones Duo! Mike’s latest release, “Live at the Green Mill” was recorded in Chicago in 2004, with bassist Kelly Sill and drummer Tim Davis. Jones is married to author Cathe Jones, and lives in Las Vegas, NV. He can be seen nightly at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino, in the Penn and Teller Theater, opening up and performing in the Penn and Teller show. His music was heard during Penn Jillette’s Radio Show on Free FM. “The Monkey Tuesday” theme song for that show was now on PennRadio.com. Mike Jones is a Kawai artista.
If you are "old school" the term "two handed pianist" means something to you. To break it down, a two handed pianist is one whose left hand is as equally strong as the right. A rare breed.
The aptly titled new release from the musical director for the Penn & Teller show, Plays Well With Others is a master class in technique and a celebration of swing from days gone by. As strong as Jones is as a soloist, he may be stronger still with this working trio of Jeff Hamilton on drums and Mike Gurrola on bass.
Most professionals can bang out a set of standards for a quick and easy payday, few can reinvent tunes from Jimmy Van Heusen, Jonny Mercer, and Jerome Kern with such proficiency as Mike Jones. One of the main reasons Plays Well With Others works well aside from brilliant arrangements would be the somewhat eclectic set list including the Fats Domino tune "I'm Walkin'" and "Besame Mucho" from Consuelo Velazquez. Expect the unexpected. Making old school new cool is indeed a beautiful thing and the harmonic synergy exhibited from this trio is most addictive.
Whimsical art work, an eclectic song selection, and unbelievably gifted technique all come together for one of the more solid trio efforts for the year. This 1986 Berklee graduate is as artistically gifted as he is technically proficient and Plays Well With Others is lyrical slight of hand and in the best way!
The Most remarkable pure technique of any piano player working in jazz today... over the course of three solo albums, Mike Jones has quietly established himself as the successor to the stupefyingly virtousic Oscar Peterson, in much the same way Peterson took the baton from the previously peerless Art Tatum in the 1950's.
He displays a ferociously driving independence of right and left-hand lines...and a reflective lyricism tastefully distant from the floral bouquets of other chops-endowed pianists.
BRAITHWAITE & KATZ
Contact: Ann Braithwaite