Recent Reviews: Mike Jones and Gloria Bosman

There is something nostalgic about a traditional jazz trio of piano, bass and drums. I expect that it has to do with my early jazz influences in and around Durban in the 1950s. The old Playhouse cinema (never a bioscope) was a revered venue for a lunchtime trio on the weekends. The Los Angeles Hotel featured John Drake every Saturday during lunch time. And, I was miffed at being thrown out of the Blue Note in Cuckoo Lane at age 14 trying to listen to trios I can no longer recall. Well, to stoke those old memories, along comes Mike Jones and his Trio, bless him. Mike on piano has solid, swinging backing from Mike Gurrola on bass and Jeff Hamilton on the drum set. They start with a funky version of Besame Mucho, follow that with It’s a Wonderful World and then into 11 other tracks, most of which you will know (if you were around during that certain age when jazz was king). A surprise track was Antoine (you know him as Fats, he died in 1962) Domino’s I’m Walkin’ and the Van Heusen/Mercer hit I Thought About You. It is some time since I had heard I Know and So Do You written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren and a hit for Glenn Miller. Ah, those were the days. This album, Plays Well With Others is not available locally but easily obtained from where you can listen to some of the tracks. Definitely recommended for those missing the golden years! South Africa’s Gloria Bosman’s compilation CD Roots of Gloria Bosman is a collection of many of her recordings. Expect good Seffrican jazz and various outside influences like Latin American rhythms, gospel/ spiritual and township jive. Locally produced by Sheer Sound, you should find this album in every local music store. It certainly belongs in your local jazz collection. Bosman has an unmistakeable voice and delivers that quintessential natural flavour required by our local music. She certainly takes these tunes by the scruff of the neck and struts them out in her unique style.