Tommy Cecil & Bill Mays | Side By Side (Sondheim Duos)

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Side By Side (Sondheim Duos)

by Tommy Cecil & Bill Mays

A variety of Sondheim gems from different shows, revealing their buoyant and pensive moods in a highly conversational jazz duo.
Genre: Jazz: Mainstream Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Something's Coming
Tommy Cecil & Bill Mays
7:08 $0.99
2. Not While I'm Around
Tommy Cecil & Bill Mays
6:24 $0.99
3. Broadway Baby
Tommy Cecil & Bill Mays
8:00 $0.99
4. Every Day a Little Death
Tommy Cecil & Bill Mays
6:10 $0.99
5. Ballad of Sweeney Todd
Tommy Cecil & Bill Mays
4:49 $0.99
6. Small World
Tommy Cecil & Bill Mays
6:51 $0.99
7. Side By Side By Side
Tommy Cecil & Bill Mays
5:26 $0.99
8. Anyone Can Whistle
Tommy Cecil & Bill Mays
6:28 $0.99
9. Comedy Tonight
Tommy Cecil & Bill Mays
7:06 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
With "Side By Side Sondheim Duos", bassist Tommy Cecil and pianist Bill Mays continue a great tradition of piano/bass duos which starts with Duke Ellington and Jimmy Blanton, and continues with the likes of Oscar Peterson and NHOP, Tommy Flanagan and George Mraz, and Bill Evans and Eddie Gomez. The freedom and intimacy it affords is exemplified on every track of the CD, from the exuberent "Comedy Tonight" to the wistful "Not While I'm Around"-whether trading melodies, or phrases, or nudging the dynamics during a solo. What adds to the interest with this recording is the repertoire. Stephen Sondheim's wonderful tunes are rarely, if ever heard in an instrumental jazz setting, because they are so deeply integrated into the shows from which they come. These performances present them in a different light, revealing nuances which might not otherwise be heard.



to write a review

Don Lerman

try it, you'll like it
Bassist Tommy Cecil and pianist Bill Mays present the music of Stephen Sondheim on their recent CD “Side by Side, Sondheim Duos.” These outstanding jazz interpretations of Sondheim’s music (seven Sondheim compositions and two pieces in which Sondheim was the lyricist) feature creative and appealing arrangements and excellent jazz improvisations by both Cecil and Mays, and like a great drama or theatrical production, there is not a moment of boredom in the program but plenty of moments of sheer inspiration.

Juerg Sommer, Switzerland

Stephan Sondheim's songs in an absolutely magic jazz performance
There is no doubt that 82-years old Stephen Sondheim is the leading composer still alive of musicals in the great tradition of Gershwin, Porter and Bernstein. However only relatively few of Sondheim's songs have made it into the standard jazz repertoire so far. Famous Washington bassplayer Tommy Cecil and his experienced pianopartner Bill Mays will change this and so just recorded nine delightful and appealing Sondheim compositions that are melodically and harmonically most attractive for improvisation. This is a stellar premiere of the most exquisite chamber jazz with fascinating and challenging duets, performed by two absolute masters. (English translation from the Swiss newspaper review in "Der Sonntag" Sept.16, 2012)


Beautiful Sounds
I found this album just glorious. The lush arrangements and innovative work is splendid. Nancianne "Jazz Spotlight on Sinatra"


Fresh, lyrical, creative and swinging -- 5 stars
Bill Mays has long been one of my favorite pianists. He's paired with Tommy Cecil, one of the most original and distinctive bassists on the scene, playing a great group of songs that are totally new and fresh to the jazz repertoire. The result is an absolute joy. This record is consistently engaging, always thoughtful, and often achingly beautiful.

It is also a whole lot of fun to listen to. So many studio recordings these days seem overly arranged and labored -- without errors, but utterly lifeless. Nothing could be further from the case here. These guys clearly enjoy playing together, and it shows.

I was only familiar with a handful of the songs presented here, but this record makes me want to go out and hear the original vocal versions, if only to better appreciate the interpretations I've heard. Do yourself a favor and check this out!


An introspective wonder! This recording melds the collective skills of powerhouse artist Bill Mays with the soulfull nature of DC's premier bass player Tommy Cecil.