May 2005

Mike Wofford
Live at Athenaeum Jazz
Capri Records

It's just plain scary how many accomplished mainstream pianists, of all ages, are out there, recording for whomever they can and maintaining self-imposed standards that keep them honest, if not widely appreciated. Mike Wofford is a California-based player who has worked with a wide variety of leaders from Art Farmer to Vinny Golia yet has barely a handful of sessions under his own name. His third album, Live at Athenaeum Jazz (Capri) features two support players, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Victor Lewis, who give a sterling stylist like Wofford that much more shine. He applies his fleet-fingered talents to a few out-of-the-ordinary choices of material that lend a freshness to the set, chief among them, Lewis' "Dex-Mex," Conte Condoli's "Macedonia" and Sting's "It's Probably Me," which gets an extended slow-groove workout here. In all, yet another example of below-the-radar excellence.

Originally published in May 2005
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