Body & Soul
Jason Myers' third album "Body And Soul" is solo piano that anyone can enjoy. It includes four of Myers' originals as well as his usual fare of jazz standards from the 1930's and 1940's. "I Can't Give You Anything But Love", "Exactly Like You", "'Deed I Do" and "Rosetta" capture Myers' fun-loving style with up-beat tempos that are peppered with walking bass lines and stride piano-a trademark of Jason's unique piano stylings. "A Hoagy For Dave" is a Myers original dedicated to his hero on piano, Dave McKenna. Myers says, "There hasn't been any piano player in my life that inspires me more than Dave. He is the only player that I can listen to all day long without tiring. The first McKenna album I really listened to was "A Celebration Of Hoagy Carmichael". "A Hoagy For Dave" came out of that." "Body And Soul" has been recorded so many times one wonders why anyone would attempt it...again. But Jason proves it is worth his effort as his sensitivity and personal touch shines through. "Serendipity Blues" is just that. After a long day of recording, Jason told the engineer he wanted to just "doodle" a bit to clear his mind. Fortunately, producer Maye Cavallaro instructed the engineer to keep the "record" button on and this improvised blues was born. "Nature Song" shows a more contemporary side of Myers than the usual "standards" repertoire that he has become known for. A waltz with a dream-like melody and carefree innocence renders images of a child spinning around while looking up at the clouds. From the Duke Ellington Songbook "Do Nothing 'Til You Hear From Me" is Jason's sassy interpretation showing his appreciation of the irony in the lyrics "...I've been seen with someone new/but does that mean, that I've been untrue?" "Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory" gave us the theme "Pure Imagination". Myers' rendition allows the listener to revisit the first time when the guests of Willy Wonka get their first glimpse inside the factory walls. In "Satin Doll", another Ellington favorite, Myers stretches a bit and really let's loose. Especially in the second chorus of the solo where he doubles up the time ending the solo with a quote from "Take the 'A' Train". "Mean To Me" seems to come right out of vaudeville. Even the intro seems vaudevillian. Myers says, "I had been using this intro for years and wasn't sure where I had heard it. I didn't realize until recently that Tommy Flanagan had used it for "What Am I Here For" on one of his albums. "She Never Says Goodbye" is one of Jason's more introspective tunes. A sense of melancholy surrounds the tune with the somber tone of unrequited love. "Memories of You" a Eubie Blake tune popularized by Benny Goodman finishes off the album. Myers has a couple of "six degrees" connections to Benny Goodman. Steve Allen, who collaborated with Jason, played Benny Goodman in the movie "The Benny Goodman Story". Second, one of Jason's regular bass players, Al Obidinski, performed with Goodman from 1979 to 1981.