To My Surprise


Mike Longo, born into a musical family, has been in it for the long haul. After seeing Sugar Child Robinson play the boogie woogie piano, Longo, at a very young age, began to pick out lines on the piano. His career started in his fathers band, but he quickly attracted attention. Cannonball Adderley helped him get some early gigs. Eventually, Longo was hired by Dizzie Gillespie, went on to become the musical director of Dizzie's band for many years. Longo was with Dizzie when he passed and delivered his eulogy. All this Modern Jazz history is distilled into an album that resonates with influences, but remains fresh. The addition of a trumpet and tenor saxophone to his regular trio enabled Longo to stretch his compositions and those of others onto a new frame. This is not reminiscence but elevation. Part of the album is the Mike Longo Trio, an epitome of New York sophisticated piano trio. The rest is straight ahead modern jazz quintet with the trumpet and sax as catalyst to more great sounds. Check out these highlights for which flavor you want to sample: Longo/Piano Highlights: 1,2,6,7,10,11,12 Owens/Trumpet Highlights: 1,8, Owens/Flugel Highlights: 5,9 Bryant/Tenor Highlights: 1,8,9 Cranshaw/Bass Highlights: 7,8 Nash/Drum Highlights: 11, Reviewed by Todd Townsend

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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