It defies belief
that “Resilience” (JLP Records) is a debut recording from the young tenor saxophonist, Tim
Mayer, chiefly because he sounds so old -- as in experienced, polished and
professional. Cohesively constructed, the album suggests that Mayer has a crush
on cool school sounds originally swung by guys like Zoot Sims and Frank Wess.
This is exuberant stuff that’s given the full workout by its cast of players
like pianist George Cables, bassist Dezron Douglas and drummer Willie Jones III;
all of them top notch talent. Also remarkable is Mayer’s guest list that
includes trumpeters Claudio Roditi, Greg Gisbert and Dominick Farinacci,
trombonist Michael Dease, guitarist Mark Whitfield and Don Braden on flute.
Slavish to the groove, Mayer leads his all-stars through vintage jazz hits by
Kenny Dorham, Lee Morgan, Fats Navarro (a juicy “Dance Of The Infidels”) and
Thelonious Monk’s “Work,” where he cleverly echoes the great Charlie Rouse.
Fresher still are hard-line showstoppers like Dease’s sublimely swinging “For
Miles” where Mayer spins out notes with a delirious glee and Cable’s own
“Klimo,” a bossa inflected bop tune that’s animated by its darting melodic
lines and fusion of horns. Mayer’s effortless proficiency extends to ballads (the
solid “I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry”) and his own rapid fire “Who
Knew” that pairs the saxophonist with guitarist Whitfield, hammering their notes
home in perfect unison. “Resilience” is a breathlessly exciting, straight-ahead
recording. (10 tracks; 60:51 minutes) Get it here.
Labels: Claudio Roditi, Dezron Douglas, Dominick Farinacci, Don Braden, George Cables, Greg Gisbert, JLP Records, Mark Whitfield, Michael Dease, Tim Mayer, Willie Jones III