JazzMonthly.com Artist Spotlight

Mike Longo

Mike-longo-cover244.jpgOn his second live trio album, A Celebration of Diz and Miles, jazz pianist Mike Longo pays tribute to two of the greatest trumpet players of all time, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. Longo played extensively with Gillespie for a quarter-century, and jammed onstage with Davis during shared club dates in New York City (three-sets-a-night for nine weeks) in 1969 and 1970.

It felt completely natural to me to do a piano-trio concert and a recording of music associated with Dizzy and Miles,” says Longo. “Everything Miles did was wonderful. If I had to pick one word to describe him, it would be “deep.” Dizzy was always pushing me to go further and learn new things. Sometimes in concert in the middle of my solo he would give me ideas by coming over and whispering a rhythm in my ear or pounding a tambourine right next to my head. Other times I would finish my solo and Diz would refuse to come in, and even if I felt I was running out of ideas, he pushed me to dip deeper and deeper into that creative well and bring out what he new I had in me.”