Mike Wofford: Live at Athenaeum Jazz

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.