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Tim Mayer! Jazz woodwind specialist & educator from Boston, Massachusetts

December 15, 2011


It’s here!

1. For Miles 5:15

2. Escapade 6:50

3. Emperor March 7:22

4. I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears…6:28

5. Fire & Ice 5:32

6. Dance of the Infidels 4:07

7. Who Knew? 3:52

8. Blue Lace 5:17

9. Work 6:12

10. Klimo 9:54



Tim Mayer – tenor saxophone

George Cables – piano

Dezron Douglas – bass

Willie Jones III – drums

Special Guests:

Claudio Roditi – rotary trumpet

Mark Whitfield – guitar

Greg Gisbert – trumpet

Michael Dease – trombone

Dominick Farinacci – trumpet

Robert Edwards – bass trombone

Woodwinds on “Emperor March”

Don Braden – flute

Robert Foster – alto flute

Michael Thomas – clarinet


Produced by: John Lee and Michael Dease

Executive Producer: Lisa Broderick

One of the best tenor saxophonists to come along in years. Tim Mayer’s approach to the horn is sophisticated, passionate, and lyrical.  His big sound is warm and powerful.  Listen for yourself. Tim Mayer is definitely here to stay!

“A powerful new voice has arrived on the
jazz scene, and he’s a bad dude.”  – Jimmy Heath

“It always gives me pleasure to meet younger musicians who have one foot in the past, one foot in the present, and their souls firmly rooted in the future of music.  Tim Mayer is one of those musicians! ” – Claudio Roditi.

Tim Mayer’s exposure to music, namely jazz and exotica, began at age 4, when he learned to work his parents’ record player. His favorite records were by Wes Montgomery, Ahmad Jamal, Bill Evans, and Martin Denny. He started playing saxophone when he was ten, and began learning jazz at Florida State University’s Summer Music Camp in 1980, where he found himself studying with many young and talented musicians including Marcus Roberts. In December of 1990, Tim began what was to be a three-year stint working aboard the cruise ships. This provided him with the opportunity to study a variety of styles and play in big bands that accompanied entertainers Al Martino, Vic Damone, Diahann Carrol, Bobby Rydell, Connie Stevens, Jack Jones, and many others.

In September of 1993, Tim attended Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied privately with Andy McGhee, George Garzone, and Bill Pierce. In 1998, Tim opened for Chucho Valdez at the Baranqui Jazz Festival in Baranquilla, Columbia. In February of 2003, he performed and recorded with the RG Jazz Orchestra in Tenerife, in the Canary Islands of Spain. That same year, he partook in the 4th Seminar and Jazz Festival in Jalapa, Mexico as a performer and clinician.

Tim has performed locally with visiting artists John Faddis, Bob Mintzer, Marvin Stamm, Arturo Sandoval, Nick Brignola Bobby Shew, and Ed Calle, percussionists Eguie Castrillo, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, and Giovanni Hidalgo; trombone greats Phil Wilson and Slide Hampton, and pianists Kirk Lightsey (in Seville), and Danilo Perez. Tim Mayer and Rusty Scott have collaborated to perform a tribute to the Tough Tenors (Johnny Griffin/Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis) and the Boss Tenors (Sonny Stitt/Gene Ammons), which has featured on different occasions as special guests Bill Pierce or Andy McGhee.

In 2007, and 2008, Waitiki won consecutive Hawaii Music Awards for three consecutive releases, Charred Mammal Flesh, Rendezvous In Okonkuluku, and in 2009, Paradise Lost And Found, which was produced by Jim Beloff featuring the arranging and instrumental talents of Waitiki, is nominated for the award.

2009 has also seen a Grammy nomination for another group with which Tim has been affiliated for a long time. La Clave Secreta, the Timba Salsa brainchild of pianist/arranger Gonzalo Grau, was nominated for Best Latin/Caribbean Album. While it didn’t win, losing to Jose Feliciano is hardly a disappointment.

Since 2001, he has been on the Berklee faculty teaching at the Saxophone Weekend, the Five-Week Program, Berklee’s City Music Saturday School and as Outreach faculty at Boston Arts Academy, and filling in for various faculty members during the year.

Review from Jazz In Space:

It defies belief that “Resilience” (JLP Records) is a debut recording from the young tenor saxophonist, Tim Mayer, chiefly because he sounds so old — as in experienced, polished and professional. Cohesively constructed, the album suggests that Mayer has a crush on cool school sounds originally swung by guys like Zoot Sims and Frank Wess. This is exuberant stuff that’s given the full workout by its cast of players like pianist George Cables, bassist Dezron Douglas and drummer Willie Jones III; all of them top notch talent. Also remarkable is Mayer’s guest list that includes trumpeters Claudio Roditi, Greg Gisbert and Dominick Farinacci, trombonist Michael Dease, guitarist Mark Whitfield and Don Braden on flute. Slavish to the groove, Mayer leads his all-stars through vintage jazz hits by Kenny Dorham, Lee Morgan, Fats Navarro (a juicy “Dance Of The Infidels”) and Thelonious Monk’s “Work,” where he cleverly echoes the great Charlie Rouse. Fresher still are hard-line showstoppers like Dease’s sublimely swinging “For Miles” where Mayer spins out notes with a delirious glee and Cable’s own “Klimo,” a bossa inflected bop tune that’s animated by its darting melodic lines and fusion of horns. Mayer’s effortless proficiency extends to ballads (the solid “I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry”) and his own rapid fire “Who Knew” that pairs the saxophonist with guitarist Whitfield, hammering their notes home in perfect unison. “Resilience” is a breathlessly exciting, straight-ahead recording. (10 tracks; 60:51 minutes)  Get it here.

There are few challenges so great as being a side man on someone else’s Jazz project.  The line between what you can do and what the project needs to make it the best it can be is everything.   It’s also a great honor.  It means someone out there values who you are and what you do to the point that they see you as a valuable asset to the project.  I have been very proud to have participated in these great CD’s.

John Hazilla & Saxabone,  Form & Function

(CIMP #142, 1997)jon_hazilla-form_function_span3

John Hazilla-drums, percussion

Jim Odgren-alto saxophone

Greg Badolato-tenor saxophone

Tim Mayer-baritone saxophone

John Pierce-trombone

Partial track listing:

Eternal Triangle (Sonny Stitt)

Our Man Higgins (Lee Morgan)

Crepuscule With Nellie (T. Monk, arr. Tim Mayer)

A Little Busy (Bobby Timmons)

Cubrazil (John Hazilla)

Yoko Miwa, In The Mist Of Time



Yoko Miwa-piano

Tim Mayer-tenor saxophone

Massimo Biolcati-bass

Scott Goulding-drums

produced by Yoko Miwa, recorded, mixed, mastered by Peter Kontrimas at PBS Studios

All songs by Yoko Miwa except Red Dragonfly (Japanese traditional)

Fragmented Memories

The Deep End

I’m Okay


In The Mist of Time

When Will “It” Happen


Oak Square Blues

Red Dragonfly

Ahimsa, Never The Same Way Once

(OFC0001, 2000 Parajite Records)

produced by Rahul Roy, recorded by Yasko Kubota

Tim Mayer-tenor & alto saxophones, flute, EWI

Yasko Kubota-piano & keys

Archie Kubota-bass & taiko drums

Harvey Wihrt-percussion

Rahul Roy-guitars, vocals

All songs by Rahul Roy except as noted


Never The Same Way Once


54 Duncan Terrace (Alan Holdsworth)


Hand In Hand (Ralph Towner)

Like Father Like Son


“Short Bread” – Rusty Scott Quartet (2000)

Rusty Scott (piano), Tim Mayer (saxophone), Keala Kaumehiewa (bass), Luther Gray (drums)

Track List

1.  Paul’s Blues
2.  Toddy for the Body
3.  Uncle Santos
4.  Bloodcount
5.  Fishin’
6.  Saturday Afternoon
7.  Raincheck
8.  No One Even Asked Me
9.   Short Bread
10.   The Mule
11.   Waltz Swing

Ed Symkus of The Tab:

Tenor man Tim Mayer offers up some of the warmest and swingingest sounds around. The Boston-based quartet is at it’s seamless best on Scott’s light and boppy “Saturday Afternoon,” while Billy Strayhorn’s “Raincheck” comes across as the most musically adventurous arrangement, and the title cut, penned by Mayer, makes for four minutes of total joy.

“Every Time” – RUSTY SCOTT QUARTET (1997)

Rusty Scott (piano), Tim Mayer (sax), Keala Kaumehiewa (bass), Harold Layne (drums)

Track List

1.  Dog Tired
2.  Every Time
3.  Pulse
4.  Kiwi Ah-ha
5.  Cane Bay
6.  Blues for Luanda
7.  It’s Alright with Me

Cadence Magazine:

Every Time’s third cut, Pulse, is a classic example of traditional jazz sounds, spotlighting the rhythm section. [Tim] Mayer can completely energize the mood with his sax. My favorite track is Cane Bay, inspired by a favorite diving spot in St. Croix. It’s the kind of tune playing when you huddle up at a bar with a drink and a cigarette feeling completely sorry for yourself. It’s a beautiful melancholy jazz journey that leaves you encouraged in the end. It’s Scott’s and Mayer’s writing styles that make this an exceptional album.

The Rusty Scott Quartet combines traditional and modern jazz in a style all their own. Every Time is the best jazz CD I have heard in my years of writing for this magazine.

Douglas Sloan, Metronome Magazine:

Just when I was hoping for some well played jazz, up comes the Rusty Scott Quartet for review. This excellent band of musicians featuring pianist Rusty Scott and saxophonist Tim Mayer are some of the tightest jazz ‘cats’ you’ll hear on the Boston jazz scene. They incorporate their love of swing with a contemporary slant that is widely appealing and subtly sensual. Tim Mayer’s sax playing smokes while Scott’s piano playing is second to none. These guys are great! So, put ‘Every Time’ in your CD player and get ready to snap your fingers and tap your toes because, the Rusty Scott Quartet has arrived!”

December 25, 2009

Cape Verdean

I got my start in this style through the Mendes Brothers.  Ramiro Mendes is the first Cape Verdean to have graduated from Berklee College of Music, having double-majored in Film Scoring and Music Production & Engineering.  His horn arrangements reflect an understanding and appreciation for Jazz, R&B, and Salsa, yet adapted to the many different styles within Cape Verdean music their music covers.

The community of Cape Verdean musicians is like a large extended family.  Music is the #1 export of that country; all Cape Verdeans, including nearly all ex-pats, know their music and the people who play it.  In order to be able to function within this style, I had to learn its phrasing and sensibilities well enough to function as a native would.  Much of that knowledge came from making the “Gira Sol” CD.  I carefully studied Bana’s phrasing, as he is one of the legenary vocalists of this style.  I also studied Ramiro’s horn lines.  Each line has a distinct function, or role to play, depending on what else is going on in the song, what type of song it is.  Once I was able to learn this vocabulary, I was able to begin writing horn arrangements for other artists’ CD’s.  Word of this spread, and for the Biús CD, the executive producer sent the producer and the hard drives to Boston to “get the Bana horns on there.  If you can’t get them, go to Miami and get the Miami Sound Machine horn section.”  For that CD, I was told that a couple of tunes were more Salsa flavored, and so, having recently recorded La Timba Loca’s first CD and having played with them for a few years, that sound was in my head.  The horns for “Mas Bonita” are a tip of the hat to Timba.

I have probably recorded on at least 100 Cape Verdean CD’s, most of which I have never seen.  These are some of the more influential ones, or ones that I had the most participation in.

Bana, Gira Sol


mandymoorealbumAlthough I don’t listen to pop music, don’t identify with it, envision myself having a career in it, nor do I profess to know much about developments in the style, I have had many good experiences participating in these projects.  I have been most fortunate to have friends in this genre with whom I have played numerous Jazz gigs.  This brings the production values right into line with mine, and adds increases the camraderie and hence the hang factor significantly as well.

Mandy Moore, Amanda Leigh

Latin/Latin Jazz

I have always found Latin music to have such great energy and life.  Since coming to Boston, I have been fortunate to play with so many great musicians, and to participate in some great recordings.  I have learned a lot, and continue to grow.  A lot of great friendships have also resulted from my involvement with this music.

La Timba Loca, Más Allá de la Habana

(CJZ10005, 2001 CariJazz Productions)

f82214dz5c6Gonzalo Grau-piano, keys, drums, percussion, vocals

Alex Alvear-vocals

Manolo Mairena-vocals

Alvaro Benavides-bass

Ernesto Briceño- electric violin

Ernesto Díaz-congas

Omar Ledezma-timbales, percussion

Albert Leusink-trumpet

Nestor Toro-alto saxophone

Tim Mayer-tenor saxophone

special guests:

Oliver Santana-saxophones (“Lloraras”)

Alexander Faría-backing vocals (“Lloraras”)

Rodolfo Reyes-backing vocals (“Tibiri Tabara,” “Besito de Coco,” “Nina”)

José “Bam Bam” Ramirez-drums, congas (“Lloraras”)

Rafael “El Tigre” Ribas-introduction on “Lloraras”

produced, recorded, mixed mastered by Gonzalo Grau at Maldensazo Studios

all songs arranged by Gonzalo Grau

El Tíbiri Tábara (Daniel Santos)

La Manitú (E. Briceño)

Chacharepa (G. Grau)

Besito de Coco (Ismael Rivera)

Nina (Justi Barreto

Bienmesabe (A. Morales/F. Colón/G. Grau)

Lo que me pasó en la Guagua (Adalberto Alvarez)

Atracción Fatal (Carmelino) (Rafael Grecco)

Por Alegías (G. Grau)

Papita, Maní, Tostón (G. Grau)

Mi receta y mi sazón (G. Grau)

Llorarás (Oscar D’Leon)

La Clave Secreta, Frutero Moderno

(Gonzalo Grau, 2008)

23010.10Gonzalo Grau-keyboards, percussion, lead & backing vocals

Manolo Mairena-percussion, lead vocals

Alex Alvear-backing vocals

Marco Godoy-backing vocals

Panagiotis Andreu-bass, vocals

Pablo Bencid-drums

Ernesto Diaz-congas

Robbie Rosario-congas

Omar Ledezma-timbales

Fausto Cuevas-timbales, congas

José “Bam Bam” Ramirez-timbales

Albert Leusink-trumpet

Dan Brantigan-trumpet

Shlomo Cohen-alto saxophone

Felipe Salles-tenor saxophone

Tim Mayer-flute

produced by Gonzalo Grau, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Gonzalo Grau

Frutero Moderno

Calle Luna, Calle Sol


Sabor, Swing y Sahoco

Buche y Pluma

Amanecer en Calithea

A la Griega

La Polémica de la Mandarina

Fachada o Nada

Mujer Divina

Abre que Voy


Brass Roots, Purple Cha Cha Heels

June 7, 2009


December 4, 2008

La Clave Secreta/La Timba Loca Grammy Nomination

I just got off the phone with Gonzalo Grau, leader, composer/arranger, and visionary head of this group. I can’t believe it, but it’s true! I checked the Grammy’s site, and there it is, toward the bottom!  See my .mac site blog page for a full post.

October 6, 2008

Waitiki @ Retro Cocktail Hour Live Broadcast

On Nov. 1, Darrell Brogdon, host of Kansas Public Radio’s “Retro Cocktail Hour” is celebrating that show’s 500th broadcast with a special concert performed by us! We are performing as our new project, the 7-piece WAITIKI Septet; the band that made its international debut this summer at the Wassermusik Festival in Berlin, Germany. Tickets are now available via Ticketmaster.com (ticket link).

In the band for this show: Tim Mayer (winds), Helen Liu (violin), Zaccai Curtis (piano), Jim Benoit (vibraphone), Abe Lagrimas (drums), Lopaka Colon (percussion), Randy Wong (bass).

In other Waitiki news, our comic book is out!  See the Waitiki site for details…. 

August 21, 2008

New pix up on .mac site

I have survived the Tiki Gauntlet of ’08, and there are a few pix up from all 3 big events: Berlin Wäßermusik, Hot Rod Hula Hop, and Tiki Oasis.  My pix are very limited due to the fact that I had to use my phone for all the picture-taking. It does best in daylight, so I tried to stick to that.  The photos from Berlin are courtesy of Jason Goodman, whom Waitiki is lucky enough to have on hand whenever possible.  So click on over to the .mac site, and enjoy! BTW, this is the link for my .mac site.

August 4, 2008

This Summer’s Gauntlet of Tiki Events

This is turning out to be quite the Summer, for Waitiki!  We have already concluded the Waßermusik Festival in Berlin. Check out these links!  Wassermusik on myspaceLots of great music, and the opportunity to bring Waitiki to Europe for the first time.Up next is the Hot Rod Hula Hop in Columbus, OH:HHRH Myspace page  Next week, Tiki Oasis in San Diego, CA:Tiki Oasis Homepage There is still NETT (North East Tiki Tour), in September:NETT and then in October, we’re going to Kansas City. But those are stories for another day…

May 28, 2008

New .mac site!

I have been reunited with my .mac acct, and have decided to post pics, music, and featured material from my life.  Please visit:http://web.mac.com/timmayer/iWeb/Site/General%20Info.html

About this site

Here you can place some information about the site, maybe use the column for favourite flickr images or something else you find unique enough to give its own space.