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Bebop Spoken There

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13,530 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 948 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (July 31).

Thursday, June 27, 2013

CD Review: Mike Wofford - It's Personal.

Mike Wofford (solo piano).
(Review by Lance)
It's Personal is an apt title for a solo piano album. No bass player to lean on, no drummer to help you swing, no guitarist to share the harmonic load. No, there's nobody but yourself or rather, in this case, Texas born Mike Wofford.
Wofford relocated to LA in the 1960s where he worked with Chet Baker, June Christy, Art Pepper and many other of the leading West Coasters. Later he became MD for Ella Fitzgerald.
That this was a worthwhile apprenticeship is proven here where he adds to the personal touch by selecting some of his favourite jazz pieces, four originals and a couple of songbook standards.
The originals comprise It's Personal (inspired by his wife; Cole Porter (his favourite songwriter); Spin (displaying his rhythmic ingenuity) and Hines Catch-up (a tribute to Earl Hines). Other numbers include Ellington/Strayhorn's The Eighth Veil - a languid piece that conjures up evocative images inspired by the title; Johnny Carisi's Springsville; Dizzy's I Waited For You; Nica's Tempo by Gigi Gryce and Candle by guitar guru Larry Koonse. His influences are many and include Sonny Clark, Al Haig and Bill Evans.
It's an enjoyable solo excursion encompassing many moods. Hines Catch-up is particularly interesting being, in essence, an update on the first modern jazz pianist - Earl Hines.
It's Personal is one of those albums that immediately claim exclusive rights to the CD machine.
As Downbeat wrote of Wofford, "One of the outstanding pianists of our time."
Once more Capri Records have come up with the goods.
Mike Wofford - It's Personal was released June 18.
Lance.

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