Review by David R. Adler | From: www.allmusic.com
Mike Wofford, the California-based veteran pianist, brings sterling musicianship to the table on his first disc for Azica. Eight of the 12 tracks feature him in a trio setting with bassist Darek “Oles” Oleszkiewicz and drummer Duncan Moore; the remaining four are solo arrangements. Perhaps as a result of accompanying some of jazz’s greatest singers, Wofford has a way of highlighting a song’s inherent drama. This is already clear by the time he gets through the melody of the opener, “My Heart Stood Still.” He’s similarly inventive with “Just One of Those Things,” “You Go to My Head” (played as a non-ballad), “Time on My Hands,” and “You and the Night and the Music.” Wofford also has an eye for unexplored material, like Les McCann’s “A Little 3/4,” Don Grolnick’s chilling minor-key ballad “The Cost of Living,” and Tim McMahon’s darkly lyrical “Cyprus.” On Duke Ellington’s classic blues “Take the Coltrane,” he opts to split the 12-bar chorus evenly, trading sixes rather than fours with Duncan Moore. (One wonders why this isn’t done more often.) To complete the program, Wofford includes his own churning mid-tempo swinger, “H2,” as well as two beauties by Oleszkiewicz.