Mike Longo Trio
Float Like a Butterfly
(CAP – 2007)
by Narvy James
As I sit chilling in my den, listening to the smooth and silky flow of the Mike Longo trio, I find myself taken on a journey. “Blue Spirits” is on and I sit mesmerized, lost in my soul and filled with peace of mind….
Float Like a Butterfly is dedicated to Oscar Peterson because he taught Mike “true jazz piano playing.” In Chicago in the early Sixties, Longo met Peterson, who invited Mike to study with him at the Advanced School of Contemporary Music run by Peterson and Ray Brown for jazz musicians. Longo spent the next six months in what he calls “the most intense period of study in my life,” often with private lessons from Peterson.
Longo pays homage to Oscar Peterson with a cover of “Tenderly,” one of Peterson’s earliest and biggest hits. When Mike was barely a teenager, he saw Oscar in concert and this was the tune that made Longo want to become a jazz pianist. “Although this acknowledges Oscar as my teacher, I play it with my own phrasing and groove.” In addition, Longo pulls out two more chestnuts from his childhood, “Girl of My Dreams” and “Dancing in the Dark,” and remakes them into modern swinging post-bop improv ventures.
All I can say is “Go! Mike Longo!” and you should go get this one…