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Written on: 20/10/2011

It is a special occasion when a new Mike Longo album comes out because we get to hear fresh, innovative jazz exploration at its finest -- all-acoustic music recorded live in the studio with top players and great interaction between the musicians. Plus, on this one, half the tunes feature his piano trio and the other half have two great horn-players added. It does not get any better than this. All five players are top-notch, first-rate jazzsters.

Jazz lovers should take a listen to the new Longo CD, TO MY SURPRISE, to hear some of the best straight-ahead jazz around. Here is a listening hint. This jazz master likes to explore the subtleties of the internal rhythms possible in jazz.

The first tracks that will jump out are the two uptempo hold-onto-your-hat numbers -- the Longo-composed “A Picture of Dorian Mode” and Herbie Hancock’s “Eye of the Hurricane.” But live with the music a bit and some of the slower tunes rise to the surface.

Dive deep into this music and you will hear subtle surprises as the music unfolds (hint #2: Longo named the album TO MY SURPRISE because he says that even he was surprised at times where the music went while they were recording).

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