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Jon Mayer

Jon Mayer, a talented bop pianist, has had a long and colorful career while remaining greatly underrated. He had classical piano lessons and attended the High School of Music and Art and the Manhattan School of Music. Mayer picked up early experience playing with Pete LaRoca and Ray Draper and jamming in New York clubs. He worked with the Kenny Dorham big band and Tony Scott's Quartet (where he replaced Bill Evans), and also recorded with Jackie McLean (1957's Strange Blues) and John Coltrane (I Talk to the Trees). Mayer worked in Paris with Chet Baker and in the 1960s and '70s gigged with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, Kai Winding, Sarah Vaughan, and the Manhattan Transfer, while also doing session work in the studios. In addition, he wrote pop songs recorded by Les McCann, Nancy Wilson, Vicki Carr, and Gladys Knight, among others. Settling in the Los Angeles area in the 1980s, Mayer worked with Freddie Hubbard, McCann, and his own groups. Jon Mayer's first opportunity to record as a leader was a date for Pullen in 1995; he has since used Ernie Watts occasionally in his quartet.
© Scott Yanow /TiVo
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