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Published: 2007/09/23
by Brad Farberman

Fantasy – Bill Mays with the Inventions Trio

Palmetto Records
In the grand tradition of combining stuff, pianist Bill Mays and his Inventions Trio (featuring Marvin Stamm on trumpet and flugelhorn and Alisa Horn on cello) have concocted a serum that is equal parts jazz and classical music. I kid you not: on their new album, for instance, the closing track lumps Bachs Invention #8 into a medley with Charlie Parkers Ah-Leu-Cha.
Which, strangely enough, sounds pretty damn cool. And Fantasy is no fluke thing; Mays has been combining for years. The ivory-tickler once wrote a five-movement flute suite for jazz flutist Bud Shank, and has performed jazz arrangements of pieces by Mendelssohn and Rachmaninoff, whos Vocalise appears on Fantasy.
But the main attraction on Mays new record is the impressive title track, an original piece in three movements. One portion of the first movement almost rocks (almost!) before we enter a brief soul jazz jam, complete with walking bass lines plucked out on the cello. Movement 2 begins in an avant garde vein, before yielding to some achingly sad music. Movement ends on a triumphant note, with Mays crashing through chords, and Stamm growling through his trumpet.
Its all very exciting, you see. Its classical, its jazz, its neither, its whatever you want it to be. Check it out.

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