ABOUT THE CD:
"Acoustic Piano International" is pianist-composer Mark Massey's debut CD as a leader. It features nine of Mark's original jazz compositions, inspired by his musical excursions around the globe, along with:
Eric Stiller (bass)
Aldo Bentivegna (drums)
and these guest artists:
Alex Acuña, percussion (Weather Report),
Justo Almario, flute (Mongo Santamaria),
Plas Johnson, tenor sax (The Pink Panther Theme),
Bob Mintzer, soprano sax (The Yellow Jackets), and
Ron Stout, flugelhorn (Bill Watrous).
Produced by Brad Powell for Geofonica Records.
"Mark Massey is awfully good. His friendly, lyrical, melodic piano has a sound unto itself, bop and post-bop influenced, contemporarily informed, and languishing solidly in the modern mainstream. ...This is a very good trio that is together in many aspects of jazz expressionism. In larger, more interactive settings, Massey proves he has ideas that work well. ...Massey's talent being exposed is a breakthrough. A majority of jazz listeners should find this a worthwhile purchase, and a keeper. Recommended.
---ALL MUSIC GUIDE, reviewed by Michael G. Nastos
Mark Massey is an excellent straight-ahead pianist who often appears in the L.A. area. ...his playing is consistently appealing. Of the trio numbers, the often-introspective "Flowers For Dorothy," the heated "Limejuicer Blues," and "Seraphs Of Terpsichore" are highlights. The opening track, "Que Garota Linda," is a particularly rewarding Latin jazz number... All in all, a well-rounded and easily enjoyable release from pianist Mark Massey."
---SCOTT YANOW (author of the books Swing and Bebop : The Essential Listening Companion)
"The Mark Massey Trio makes an exciting impression... Massey has traveled the world, performing his form of mainstream jazz for a variety of audiences. He's put together this album with an eye on the international flavor of jazz, and an ear on swing, acoustic bebop. Massey's compositions insure harmonic depth and a reverence for tradition. Scenery for the soul...reminding us that acoustic jazz is timeless and exciting."
---JIM SANTELLA, L.A. JAZZ SCENE (March 2000)
"Massey is skilled at a range of tempos and feels, keeping his play accessible while never talking down to more demanding listeners."
---BILL KOHLHAASE, LOS ANGELES TIMES (from a live performance review)
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Jazz pianist-composer Mark Massey was born and raised in Lynwood, California, where he showed early talent on piano, trombone, and drums. During high school, he studied classical piano and played in various groups, jazz combos and big bands. Mark studied music composition under Dr. Philip Weston, and during summers took music classes at the Cerritos College Music Camp. Mark played in the Pico Rivera Stage Band, which won First Place at the Hollywood Bowl Battle of the Bands. Mark was graduated from California State University, Long Beach (with Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music), where he was recipient of the Carmen Dragon Fellowship for composition and he was dubbed "A Young Giant" by the National Association Of Jazz Educators.
Mark Massey has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, the former Soviet Union, Russia, the Far East and India. He has worked with Larry Carlton, David Benoit, Paul Horn, Poncho Sanchez, Hubert Laws, the Side Street Strutters, Louie Bellson, Phil Upchurch, L. Subramaniam, and the late, great Freddie Hubbard, Maynard Ferguson, Yehudi Menuhin, Stéphane Grappelli, and Tony Williams.
Mark was featured in The Four Pianos In Concert series along with pianists Paul Smith and the late Pete Jolly and Steve Allen. As well as his periodic concerts internationally, Mark performs regularly at major jazz venues throughout Southern California, both as a sideman, and as leader of The Mark Massey Trio, with Anders Swanson (bass) and Aldo Bentivegna (drums).