Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Mike Jones Trio: Roaring

Capri Records
By Ric Bang
Buy CD: Roaring

The two most important prerequisites for jazz are 1) it’s got to swing; and 2) it should to be fun to make and hear. This album accomplishes both.

You’ve heard pianist Mike Jones before, if you follow the magic team of Penn & Teller; Jones is their show’s opening act. Bassist/vocalist Katie Thiroux was a semifinalist in the 2015 Thelonious  Monk Jazz Competition. She recently released an album that received a rave review here. Drummer Matt Witek, a Berklee College of Music grad, frequently works with Thiroux and luminaries such as Les Fuller and Ken Peplowski.

The rhythm section Jones’ trio creates is a true groove: one of the best I’ve heard in a long time.

This release features 10 compositions from the 1920s (thus the album title). Many likely won’t be familiar to today’s fans, but were big hits during that time period, and still can bring a smile to senior citizens. The tunes swing wonderfully, and the trio obviously had a ball recording them. 

Although Jones and his trio mates hadn’t ever played together, they nonetheless were able to complete this session in less than four hours. Further, only one take was required for each tune. I enjoyed all of them, but my favorite is the opener, “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby”; my feet were stomping, and my fingers snapping, during every bar.

I’m eager to hear more from this group!

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