Fans will know that Mike Longo studied under Dizzy Gillespie and jammed onstage with Davis during shared club dates in New York City (three-sets-a-night for nine-weeks) in 1969 and 1970. So it seems very appropriate that he would do an album that pays tribute to two of the greatest jazz trumpet players of all time. Joined by well-known jazz stalwarts Paul West and Ray Mosca, Longo maintains his remarkable ability to be intuitive yet improvisational -- a defining element of the best of jazz.

A Celebration of Diz & Miles was recorded live in concert at the John Birks Gillespie Auditorium at the Baha'i Center in New York City, and the album contains highlights from two completely different sets performed June 26, 2012. "Jazz audiences expect every concert, each set, to be something new, fresh and exciting, and my goal is to deliver that, " Longo states. "These tunes will never be played again exactly like they were that night." This long CD (21 tracks) is actually as much a celebration of improvisation as it is elegiac of two jazz giants and their unparalleled compositional abilities (and it includes a few cuts by composers the two themselves tributized: Gershwin and etc.). I have no doubt Diz and Davis were looking down from that Big Jam Hall in the skies and smiling from ear to ear on that day in New York. This is free-wheeling, deep-exploring live jazz at its best, with roots deep in the best of be-bop traditions, but always pushing into new territory.

Highly recommended.

~review by: Lisa Mc Sherry

Artist: The Mike Longo Trio
Consolidated Artists Productions, 2012
CD, $11.97

You may enjoy our other reviews of The Mike Longo Trio:
Sting Like A Bee
To My Surprise