Preview- Jon Mayer Brings Jazz to SMC


Jon Mayer (not the pop star) is a Jazz pianist who has recorded with John Coltrane and led bands with celebrated jazz musicians like Billy Higgins and Ron Carter. His career began in New York in the 1950s, and it took him to places like France where he performed with Chet Baker at the Blue Note Jazz Club. His path even landed him some gigs writing material for Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra. Mayer now resides in the greater Los Angeles area.

Mayer’s musical credibility got established at an early age after he recorded with Coltrane in his twenties. Two years after Mayer recorded with Coltrane, Mayer attended one of Coltrane’s debut performances as a bandleader, and wrote two complete compositions “based on my impression,” says Mayer. Mayer soon after reached out to Coltrane for his opinion about the pieces.

“ I actually called Train [Coltrane] up. I knew him, somewhat … and I said … I wrote these two songs, and he says ‘Well why don’t you come over and play them for me.’ Ok. Fearless me, so I went over to his house, and he pulled out his old … reel to reel, and pulled out his soprano saxophone and learned the tunes, put him on the Webcor, [recorder] and that is where they stayed forever until I had my first shot at recording with Ron Carter and Billy Higgins.”

These pieces encapsulate the basis of some of Mayer's found on his album “Round up the Usual Suspects.” It also features artist such as Billy Higgins and Ron Carter. 

Mayer will perform at the Music Hall at SMC Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Friday, April 26th at 7 pm. Tickets are $10. Mayer will feature some of the best musicians in the area, and the music will primarily be straight jazz and bebop.