Saxophonist Tim Mayer to release “Resilience” on Sept. 27, 2011

According to a news release, Tim Mayer, ace tenor saxophonist, composer and arranger, will release Resilience on Jazz Legacy Productions on Sept. 27, 2011.
While not his maiden voyage, Mayer has recorded extensively as a sideperson, Resilience is Mayer’s debut as a leader and first disc for Jazz Legacy Productions. It would be easy (and typical) to record an album of readily recognizable standards, but Mayer struck a balance between ambition and user-friendliness. With a core quartet of Mayer, pianist George Cables, bassist Dezron Douglas, and drummer Willie Jones III, plus a select group of guests (Claudio Roditi, Mark Whitfield), Mayer’s platter swings from the get-go. A few tracks have additional players for a richer sound-a bit plush, a hair away from lush, with thoughtful yet vigorous arrangements in the vein of Tadd Dameron, Don Sebesky, and pre-1965 Gil Evans.
Tim Mayer’s horizons have grown exponentially. He has performed locally with Jon Faddis, Nick Brignola, Slide Hampton, and Bob Mintzer. He expanded his scope to include Afro-Cuban/Latin jazz styles, playing with Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Giovani Hidalgo, and Danilo Perez. Done with Berklee in 1997, Mayer joined Sol Y Canto, a folklorico-oriented Boston-area band that he’s performed with sporadically ever since. More recently, with his band 5LMN2 (Los Cinco Elementos), Mayer still explores the area(s) where jazz and Afro-Cuban sounds overlap and coalesce. Another venture, Gonzalo Grau y La Clave Secreta (formerly known as Timba Loca) released Frutero Moderno, which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Tropical/Latin Album. Another avenue of expression is his appreciation of exotica, which is evinced by his membership in the Waitiki 7. Mayer and Randy Wong produced two Hawaii Music Award winning albums for the group – New Sounds of Exotica (2010) received Adult Contemporary Album of the Year and Adventures in Paradise (2009) won Exotica Album of the Year. Contrary to the purist line of thinking, a human does not live by jazz alone. As if that weren’t enough, Mayer has an extensive resume in the sphere of Cape Verdean folk and pop, playing on albums by Bana, the Mendes Brothers, and Jack Pina.
In the great kitchen that is jazz, Mayer has notions waiting to be realized and served up in style. Realizing it’s not enough to simply cook well, Mayer knows how to present a savory meal. Compositionally, his stove is stoked by the blazing heat of hard bop trumpet icon Lee Morgan.
“Everything he played was solidly rooted in the blues,” Mayer said in a news release. Band-wise, his ideal is Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. (Think of Blakey as “restaurateur” whose kitchens are perhaps the finest proving grounds for chefs of the future.) With those muses, it’s no wonder the varied and tangy Resilience has the zing and gusto of a fine repast, one that leaves the listener with a cozy afterglow.

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