This recording Roaring reminds us that there is a veritable treasure trove of classic material that is rarely played by musicians, who are often focused on showcasing their compositional talent. Not that it’s a bad thing, but when you come across a group of musicians like the Mike Jones Trio, whose pianist, Mike Jones offers a subtly personal take on the standards, it’s then that you find yourself wondering where it all went. More to the point you catch your breath at Jones’ ability to seduce the senses. But then he is a pianist who has always been known to produce something truly rapide et brilliant, playing music with dynamic and tonal finesse that is inspiring.
What is so striking is that Mike Jones never sounds too slow, thanks to his finely tuned voicings and the bewitching manner of his magical arpeggios and dramatic glissandos. Time and again you feel that Jones is a most eloquent advocate for the ‘standard’, powerful and lucid even in the composers’ more timid and tentative writing. While this can be felt throughout the substantial recording, you hear it best in ‘I’ll See You In Cuba’ through the wildly ricocheting rhythms, emphasised by a commanding left hand. But Jones is also on fine terms with the rest of the repertoire taking each of the ten songs on this disc for an articulate whirl before he is ready to let go.
Mike Jones is also twice blessed here. He has the services of a first rate drummer in Matt Witek, who not only has an impeccable sense of time, but plays so melodically that he could literally steal the song from under you. And then there is Katie Thiroux, a bassist and musician who makes the heart beat faster as she creates a tonal allure that creates a sweep and abandon to anything she plays. Together Witek and Thiroux phrase the gentle loping dotted rhythms with idiomatic simplicity and grace. Surely they must be the envy of many musicians as they allow the music to unfold most artfully. Put them together with Mike Jones and there’s no questioning the exceptional command of their finely recorded performances.
Track List: Yes Sir, That’s My Baby; If I Had You; I’ll See You In Cuba; Home; Mean To Me; I Found A New Baby; Me And My Shadow; What’ll I Do; I Can’t Believe You’re In Love With Me; Am I Blue.
Personnel: Mike Jones: piano; Katie Thiroux: bass; Matt Witek: drums.
Label: Capri Records
Release date: July 2016
Running time: 1:01:53