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High Standards by Mike Kocour Trio

When you name your CD High Standards, you better be able to live up to the name. Jazz pianist Michael Kocour does and he does so masterfully. This CD contains eight standards from such celebrated composers as Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin and Rogers and Hammerstein to name a few. Kocour takes each tune and gives it his own personal interpretation, making it fresh, but at the same time making sure they remain strong and true to their origins.

Kocour is an accomplished and sophisticated pianist from Chicago. He has appeared with many great artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Randy Brecker, Eddie Harris, James Moody and the Chicago Symphony.

The Mike Kocour Trio consists of world-class musicians including drummer Joel Spencer and bassist Kelly Sill, both highly sought after members of Chicago’s jazz elite. This energetic trio has been together for a long time, which is apparent with the tightness and unmistakable cohesiveness demonstrated throughout this ambitious CD. They simply resonate.

When you listen to this CD, you will instantly be drawn in as Kocour sets the groove while leaving out any trendiness to these classic standards. These standards are brimming with zest and energy. Kocour will have you swinging to the beat of "Battle Royal" by Duke Ellington, "Star Eyes" by Raye/DePaul, and "Hello Young Lovers" by Rogers and Hammerstein. These interpretations are truly stellar.

On the flip side, Kocour will make your heart smile with the tenderness and magic on ballads such as "The Very Thought Of You" by Ray Noble, "Body And Soul" by Johnny Green, or the hauntingly beautiful "Let’s Face The Music And Dance" by Irving Berlin. All are stunning and brilliantly interpreted by Kocour, Spencer and Sill. This is jazz at its finest and will leave you yearning for more.

High Standards is just what the name implies and whether you listen alone, during a quiet candle lit dinner, or at your next cocktail party, this fine collection of standards will surely fill the bill.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Mike Kocour Trio
  • CD Title: High Standards
  • Genre: BeBop / Hard Bop
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Independent
  • Rating: Five Stars
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