Mike Longo: Tell Me a Bedtime Story
Tell Me a Bedtime Story
Mike Longo (piano)
Sting Like a Bee (Cap 1018)
Recorded: Englewood, NJ, no date given (CD released in 2009)
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
Pianist Mike Longo must be in a pugilistic frame of mind. He follows up his 2007 CD Float Like a Butterfly with his current effort Sting Like a Beeóboth titles coming from a famous self-description by boxer Muhammad Ali. On "Tell Me a Bedtime Story" the emphasis is more on float than sting. Yes, the boxing gloves need to come off at bedtime. After a fortissimo intro, the trio settles into a languid and nuanced rendition of the Hancock piece. Longo has picked some fine sparring partners here, and Cranshaw and Nash play with such relaxed swing that it would be easy to overlook their contributions, but the success of this track is very much centered in the pulse. I played it for a listener who knew little about jazz, who responded to the beat first and foremost. But musicians are more likely to enjoy the crisp chord changes and the subtle way blue notes are integrated into the melody line. Longo is willing to stretch the harmonies with his phrases, which sometimes bristle in an arrangement that seems to invite gentle tinkling. Definitely a heavyweight contender.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia