One of New Orleans' young lions of the trumpet, Irvin Mayfield, has recorded a CD with pianist and jazz patriarch Ellis Marsalis titled Love Songs, Ballads and Standards. (Long-time readers may recall that Mayfield played an astounding version of "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" on the Higher Ground benefit CD, which I reviewed here.)
I had hoped this CD would be more like Wynton's first disc with his father Ellis, Standard Time Volume 3: The Resolution of Romance (2000), but Mayfield's effort is a more inconsistent one. Ten of the tracks on this disc are from a pair of dates in 2004, with the remaining four tracks from 2007. The song choices were largely good ones, although I question the need for two versions of Lennon/McCartney's "Yesterday." Mayfield's playing is respectable despite an occasional slight airiness, and his mute work is often gorgeous; the rollicking exuberance of "Mo' Betta Blues" vies with his use of a Harmon mute on "Don't Know Why" for the disc's best moment.
Mayfield's Love Songs, while not a masterpiece, is nonetheless a solid piece of work. As his playing matures, I'd like to hear more efforts from him in the same musical vein.
(Note: Mayfield is pictured playing the spectacularly decorated Elysian Trumpet, crafted by specialty trumpet maker Dave Monette. (Here is a video clip from The Oregonian of Monette discussing the horn, and Mayfield playing it. For more information on Monette trumpets, read Carl Vigeland's article "A New Horn" from The Atlantic here and here.)