Reviews for “American Melodies”

    • Roots Music Report (August 21, 2020): “…surely an album that jazz disciples will want to hear…a jazz duo album that offers fresh perspectives of timeless music composed by jazz icons such as the Gershwin brothers, Benny Golson, Duke Ellington, Thad Jones, and Billy Joel among others. (five stars).”
    • Jazz Weekly (May 21, 2020): “Soft and understated moments are created by bassist Tommy Cecil teaming with Nate Najar on an unamplified guitar for this baker’s dozen standards.”
    • LA Jazz Scene (May 2020): “The two musicians listen closely to what is being played and react quickly to each other’s ideas…[T]he duo never plays the obvious tunes…The two musicians often think as one, they blend together well, and the set holds one’s interest throughout…well worth acquiring.”

Reviews for “Our Time: Sondheim Duos Volume 2”

    • Der Sonntag (March 2, 2014):  “Excellently arranged, interpreted, and recorded, the duo presents the finest chamber jazz (five stars).”
    • Wall Street Journal (December 5, 2013): “Delivers blissfully swinging improvisations on such contemporary theater classics as “Our Time”—showing that a piano and a bass can “sing” more beautifully than many performers currently on Broadway.”
    • Jazz Inside Magazine (December 2013): “[Cecil and Mays] make Sondheim’s songs sound perfectly natural as improvisatory jazz.”

Reviews for “Side by Side: Sondheim Duos”

    • Rifftides (October 26, 2012): “Stephen Sondheim’s theater songs are replete with terrific melodies. They are also loaded with harmonic surprises that lend themselves to improvisation—if the players have the intellect and chops to take advantage of them. Bassist Cecil and pianist Mays know how to capitalize on unusual turns in chord structures. Their keen ears and quick thinking serve them well in this chamber music encounter.”
    • Washington CityPaper (October 11, 2012): “Stephen Sondheim is ripe for jazz interpretation, and these two are quite the players for it…Mays finds the tenderness in Cecil’s playing, the bassist brings out the happy bounce in the pianist. It’s not only a smart and potent combination, but a deeply human one that underscores the dimension in Sondheim’s virtuosic compositions.”
    • Theater Mania (August 28, 2012): “Bassist Cecil and pianist Mays take listeners on a fascinating journey through some of Sondheim’s most famous tunes on this elegant jazz disc.”