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Bill Mays | Mays Plays Mays

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United States - Pennsylvania

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Brazilian: Bossa Nova Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Mays Plays Mays

by Bill Mays

Bill Mays' 38th recording as leader. Solo, duo, trio, quartet and quintet tracks. With John Hart, guitar, Marvin Stamm, trumpet, Martin Wind, bass and Matt Wilson, drums. Blues, classical, some free improv. All instrumentals except for 2 vocal tracks
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Birthday Blues
5:06 $0.99
2. Exuma
5:01 $0.99
3. Mays in the Mirror
5:20 $0.99
4. Jolie Joelle
4:33 $0.99
5. Mw2
5:51 $0.99
6. Play Song
5:15 $0.99
7. Snow Job
3:46 $0.99
8. How Long Has This Been Going On?
6:27 $0.99
9. Ten, Chelsea Evening
4:23 $0.99
10. For Woff
4:51 $0.99
11. Martha
1:39 $0.99
12. Whistling Pastor
1:24 $0.99
13. Mark David
5:43 $0.99
14. Eileen's Birthday Waltz
2:46 $0.99
15. Kalavrita
5:22 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Mays plays Mays? Unlike most of my past recordings, this one features (with two exceptions) my own compositions. Some written years ago, and some just days before entering the studio, these are tributes to places, friends, and family members.
Birthday Blues was a birthday present to my friend Arne de Keijzer. Arne was an alto sax and clarinet player when we met in a Navy band in California almost 60 years ago. I think this blues shuffle suits him to a T!
During a recent visit to the Bahamas I was so taken with the beauty of one particular island that I wrote Exuma while vacationing there. This is dedicated to Margaret Dulaney Balitsaris and Matt Balitsaris and to the sweet people of Simon’s Point.
Chris Cuvier writes, "Bill Mays is one of my first and most enduring musical heroes. I met Bill and discovered his music at the age of seventeen when I was first studying jazz piano. He was very encouraging and provided invaluable advice on who to listen to, what to practice, etc. He has remained a huge source of inspiration to this day. On the occasion of his 74th birthday, I sent him the score to a piece I had written in his honor, Mays In The Mirror (a reference to the idea that younger musicians are reflections of their elders who have influenced them). I tried to capture the swing, wit, and mastery of jazz language in Bill’s playing, along with his gregarious personality!"
Jolie Joëlle was a gift to my friend Joëlle Baron, a stunning and regal lady!
Long overdue, MW2 is a musical salute to my trio mates Martin Wind and Matt Wilson. We have a long history together, having played on numerous projects and tours. Thank you—I love you guys.
Play Song was originally written as an instrumental piece for an LP I did with trumpeter Bobby Shew. Years later, my wife Judy wrote a loving lyric.
Snow Job was written in Canada during a raging snowstorm. I initially called it Snowed In Toronto. When I took it to the gig that night drummer Terry Clarke said, “That’s a great tune, Bill, but the name of it should be Snow Job,” and that’s what it’s been ever since. It’s a contrafact (based on a well-known holiday song) and is dedicated to Terry and bassist Neil Swainson, with whom I share a long musical friendship.
I’ve always been intrigued by How Long Has This Been Going On?, written by the Gershwins for the 1928 musical “Funny Face,” with a great verse which precedes the chorus. Though often played as a ballad, I enjoyed toying with it and watching it morph through different time signatures. I dedicate it to the memory of singer Mark Murphy who used to sing it with élan and conviction.
Written for my wife Judy, Ten, Chelsea Evening recalls many a wonderful night in this unique Manhattan neighborhood. The sounds that precede the piece are just part of what a Chelsea wanderer might encounter on a fine summer evening.
In my early California days I spent a couple of years in the U. S. Navy in San Diego. Pianist Mike Wofford was a regular on the scene there. For Woff is dedicated to Mike, who was an important early influence. A pianist, composer, and arranger of great depth, he is one of the most individual, lyrical, and hard-swinging pianists ever.
The next four pieces comprise a mini-suite, dedicated to my parents and siblings. My mother, Martha, was as sweet as the day is long and had a lovely voice. My minister father used to whistle a little ten-note ditty that laid the groundwork for this free improvisation that is the Whistling Pastor. I have two brothers, Mark and David. They’re both great guys, and I tried to capture the essence of the two of them in Mark David. Eileen's Birthday Waltz was written for my dear sister Eileen.
While performing and teaching at a music seminar in the town of Kalavrita (a four-hour drive up the Greek mountains above Athens), I fell in love with the beauty, the food, and the people of this small, charming town. During my week there I wrote the music and words for Kalavrita, and at the final concert was honored to play and sing it for the townspeople and the mayor!
A huge thanks to everyone involved with this project, especially Matt Balitsaris, whose generosity, patience, and commitment to sonic excellence are boundless.



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Jürg Sommer, Switzerland

A fantastic recording!!
The music documented here is consistently swinging and highly melodic current mainstream of the absolute NYC top class, as you can hear it in the renowned jazz clubs of New York, the repertoire stylistically broadly diversified, dramaturgically skillful and impressively arranged. 14 moving and touching by compositions Bill Mays plus Geshwins well known standard "How Long Has This Been Going On?". In short: Absolutely outstanding music from 5 masters of their trade. Highly and warmly recommended!