Pianist Mike Petrone hails from Cleveland, Ohio in the United States. For more than twenty years he has led his own piano trio, and in 1994, began recording for a small independent jazz and blues label, Goblin Bee Records. “blue” represents Mike’s sixteenth recording in the last thirteen years. Although Mike has also become a fine vocalist, “blue” is a return to his roots with the traditional instrumental piano, bass, drums format that he has studied his entire life and began his career with.
Featured on “blue” is acoustic bassist Lamar Gaines, one of the last of the old school jazz bassists. Lamar has had more than a fifty-year career playing with the likes of Joe Williams, Teddy Wilson, and Yusef Latif. “Blue” is one of very few recordings of this jazz master, and no doubt the finest. Lamar Gaines’ bass is a voice unique in the history of jazz music, which you will hear right from the very first notes.
Rounding out the trio is drummer John Stebal, who can also be found on Petrone’s previous trio effort, a 1999 side entitled, “Blooming at Nighttown.” Petrone and Stebal have a deep connection going back many years, as their fathers, John Stebal Sr. and John Petrone were also jazz bandmates thirty years ago. The connection between all three musicians is uncanny on this recording, and given the nature of the jazz music business these days with interchangeable studio players, to find a band that knows each other so well and performs together weekly is a true rarity. “Blue” is a return to the heyday of the jazz trio, when it wasn’t about a single player, it was about the unit. It is a classic meant for the piano trio aficionado.