Bill Mays: Live at Jazz Standard
(Bill Mays Website)
2005 Palmetto Records, Inc.
Bill Mays on Piano
Matt Wilson on Drums
Martin Wind on Bass
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 4, 2007
This straight jazz, with twists and surprises, has tracks with contrasting moods, such as the swinging Rodgers and Hart’s Have You Met Miss Jones? and Chaplin’s Smile. Mays usually takes the lead on these professional arrangements, but there are extended solos for Matt Wilson on drums and Martin Wind on bass. The music was recorded at NYC’s Jazz Standard over several nights in December 2004.
#1 – Have You Met Miss Jones? – Composed by Hart/Rodgers. With easygoing piano virtuosity, Bill Mays buoyantly interprets this standard, accompanied by quicksilver percussion and bass. Mays fuses jazz and swing and grabs the listener’s attention.
#4 – Darn that Dream – Composed by DeLange/Van Heusen. A staccato lead on all three instruments, with pregnant pauses, is followed by a light bass touch, evoking the early waking hours, those after the dream. Mays takes the theme to the upper keyboard registers and inner strings, with eerie, impressionistic ambiance.
#8 – Willow Weep for Me – Composed by Ronell. Martin Wind and Mays create a bluesy, surreal lead, with Matt Wilson’s percussive repetitions. The renowned theme is well hidden, before Mays draws it out, and piano and bass fuse for a staccato finale.
#10 – Smile – Composed by Chaplin. This track was simple and sincere, with Wind opening the emotional ballad with his bow. Mays soon took the lead, but slowly and deliberately, as this final track was meant for a standard approach. It is a lovely, lyrical song.
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