Pianist Mike Abene tends to be overlooked due to his work accompanying singers and as a sideman, but he is a talented and versatile pianist. He appeared early on at the Newport Jazz Festival with Marshall Brown's Newport Youth Band. After attending the Manhattan School of Music, he had a long stint as pianist and arranger with Maynard Ferguson's Orchestra (1961-1965). Since that time, Abene has worked in a countless number of jazz-oriented settings with such singers as Anita O'Day, Chris Connor, Joe Williams, Johnny Hartman, Susannah McCorkle, and Jackie Paris and with groups led by Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, Clark Terry, Don Ellis, Al Cohn/Zoot Sims, Lee Konitz, and Phil Woods. In addition, he has made his main living writing jingles for the studios. Abene led his first recording session (a solo piano outing) for Stash in 1984.
- by Scott Yanow
All Music Group