Mike Longo, To My Surprise: Trio + 2 (CAP
The trio is pianist Longo, bassist Bob Cranshaw and drummer Lewis Nash— a formidable New York rhythm section. With the addition on half the tracks of trumpeter Jimmy Owens and tenor saxophonist Lance Bryant, Longo takes the quintet through classic bop territory and beyond into modal country. If there were Oscars for Wilde titles, “A Picture of Dorian Mode,” would win. The adventurous playing on the track awards the listener. With trio or quartet, in standards or new Longo compositions, hard-charging or pensive, this is an album full of satisfactions, not least the lovely take on “In the Wee Small Hours” that ends it.