Jon Mayer: The Art of the Ballad

Los Angeles based pianist Jon Mayer was a regular member of the thriving NYC/Paris jazz scene of the 1950's, playing with Kenny Dorham, Tony Scott, Pete LaRoca, Ray Draper, Chuck Israels, Chet Baker, and Kenny Clarke.

Eventually he recorded with two of the greatest saxophonists ever: Jackie McLean on "Strange Blues" (Prestige/OJC), and John Coltrane on the legendary "I Talk With The Trees" date, issued as part of Coltrane's "Like Sonny" (Roulette).

In the '60s and '70s, Mayer remained active, playing in both New York and Europe with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, Dionne Warwick, Sarah Vaughan, and the Manhattan Transfer, and writing songs recorded by Les McCann and Nancy Wilson.

A 13 year period of professional inactivity ended in 1991, with a move to Los Angeles, and performances with Les McCann.

His long-overdue debut recording as a leader, 1996's "Round Up The Usual Suspects", featured Ron Carter and Billy Higgins. He has subsequently released a series of recordings with a who's who of great sidemen, including Ernie Watts, Rufus Reid, Roy McCurdy, Dick Berk, Victor Lewis, Chuck Israels, and Bob Maize.

His latest CD is "The Art of the Ballad", featuring his mastery of melody, harmony, and time as a solo pianist.

Jon appeared here twice previously with the Jon Mayer Trio.