Mike Longo, piano; Santi Debriano, bass; Ray Mosca, drums.
Mike Longo likes classy introductions; this set, recorded live at the Detroit International Jazz Festival starts with such an intro; then immediately sets off into perfect swing with "My Funny Valentine", pointing up the poise, depth and color that is the mark of Mike Longo's playing; immeasurably enhanced in this number by the warm, light bass of Santi Debriano. The influences of Gillespie and Monk are strongly felt, "Fiesta Mojo", "Tin Tin Deo" and " A Night In Tunisia" from Dizzy and "Rhythm A Ning" and "Round Midnight" from Thelonious.
Longo has written nine books on teaching music and there is the strong feel of a teacher about him; his playing demonstrates techniques that students would do well to take notice of. His patterns are flawless, his intelligent, tuneful playing can take off in any direction and hold you all the way. Superbly backed by Santi Debriano on bass and Ray Mosca on drums, this is fine playing indeed. A warm, emotional eleven and a half minutes with "Porgy and Bess" and a closing romp with Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night In Tunisia", all with the extra 'bite' of a live performance makes this a very worthwhile set.
by Ferdinand Maylin
Jazz Now Interactive
Copyright Jazz Now, April 2003 issue, all rights reserved