Reviews of "Pathways" CD

Intimately impressive duo jazz Dave Anderson and Mike Wingo – PATHWAYS:  I very much enjoyed Dave and Mike when I reviewed their “Conversations” album (way back when)… their latest effort together is one of the most intimately impressive duo jazz sets I’ve listened to (yet) in 2020.

“Eb Minor Motion” was a tune that surprised me, actually… it starts off just as you might think a tune with that title would, but right at the 2:23 mark, the duo takes you off (most pleasantly) into the stratosphere… I predict that this song will be getting some MAJOR airplay! 

The duo’s arrangement of Miles’s “Milestones” makes for one of the most unique performances of that tune you will ever listen to… the recording balance between Dave’s piano and Mike’s percussion is pure perfection. 

I fell in love with Dave’s original, “Deep Blues“, before the third bar was completed… in my experience, it’s quite difficult for piano/percussion duos to record so that one instrument isn’t “hogging” the sound, but it’s clear that both players are totally sensitive to that need for balance… one of the very best duos I’ve ever listened to! 

What made me choose “Fragile” as my personal favorite of the dozen dazzling songs offered up is the high level of energy it expresses… a wonderful closer for a lively album. 

I give Dave and Mike a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) score of 4.98.  Get more information and/or purchase the album on Dave’s page for the release.  

Contemporary Fusion Reviews - Rotcod Zzaj                                                       


 Dave Anderson and Mike Wingo continue to put forth meaningful duet albums highlighting the conversational interaction between piano and drums. Duets have always been a fertile ground for improvisation, and Anderson and Wingo have continued to explore this setting since 2006. In 2010, the duo released their first duo CD, entitled Conversations.   Their latest release Pathways furthers the duet’s growing discography in an innovative elaboration of eleven original compositions by Dave Anderson, plus an updated new arrangement of Miles Davis’s classic “Milestones.” 

“Modal Mood,” is precisely what you would expect, a rich exploration of modes. The tune offers a richness of sonic pathways in which Anderson glides with conviction and poise as he weaves an ever-building intensity to the melody, with flurries of notes with his left hand and a solid accompaniment with his right. All the while, Wingo colorizes with rhythmic flourishes on brushes that propels the piece to a crescendo ending. 

Admittedly the title “The Leprechaun’s Jam” made me curious, as its quirky title was intriguing. Indeed the tune is as well. Wingo employs percussion and auxiliary sounds while Anderson dances atop with jazz voicings and a hint of an Irish jig. A jaunty tune filled with meticulous details that serve the melody well. What is most inviting about this duo is the vibrancy of their sound you never find yourself wishing there were more instruments to fill out the ensemble. Each composition is soulful, filled with technical prowess. 

Covers are always a tricky road. In the hands of Anderson and Wingo Miles Davis’ “Milestones” with its modality that became legendary fits nicely with Anderson’s originals. Anderson’s dexterity is limitless, as is his rhythmic touch that ranges from commanding to introspective creating needed moods, especially in a duet setting. Once again, Wingo laces the tune’s momentum with creatively complex layers and auxiliary percussion to add to the profundity of sound. 

Together Anderson and Wingo have created a byway for the duet setting. I fully expect there to be many small ensemble recordings in the era of COVID, but make no mistake Anderson and Wingo offer a depth that can only come from years of creating together and the rapport that time takes. Pathways is worth the exploration.

Jeff Becket - Jazz Sensibilities   August 12, 2020


 Pathways is an exquisite selection of Dave Anderson’s most beautiful, autumnal music played in a duo setting with percussion colorist Mike Wingo. The repertoire is warm and lyrical, and it showcases the virtuosity of both musicians who play with equal parts intelligence and passion. This unselfconscious performance is often meditative and joyous, with proverbial nods to both tradition and modernity. The music is replete with the richness of ideas, invention and feeling, expressed by both pianist and percussionist as they toss phrases between each other, developing each without inhibition. 

Neither musician calls the shots, so to speak; rather each takes turns to provoke the other into expressing himself by way of developing on a musical idea. Mr Wingo brings much to the music by way of rhythmic invention. In choosing which instrument he will accompany the pianist’s melodic and harmonic lines he adds a colorful and – often magical – textural dimension to the music. Mr Anderson has an exotic virtuoso style and this is often displayed through the progressive strands of his compositional development. While there may not be loud pronouncements, Mr Anderson’s quiet pianism is often punctuated by a cadenza full of rhapsodic arabesques. 

By employing several kinds of frame drums throughout, Mr Wingo brings much exotica to the music himself. In doing so the music often veers outside the confines of Western modes and into music whose architecture is built on undulant Middle Eastern Phrygian Modes. This kind of variation comes when you least expect it – as in “E♭ Minor Motion”, for instance. It is sudden musical diversions such as this that makes for a very interesting and memorable program. 

Raul Da Gama -  JazzDaGama Reviews                                                                                                                                                              



Reviews of "Conversations" CD 

Dave Anderson & Mike Wingo - CONVERSATIONS:  You will hear (within the first few bars) why pianist Dave used this title for the CD - this is really a keyboard and percussion dialogue with percussionist Mike Wingo... it's one of the most enjoyable jazz discourses I've heard in a long time!  There are many artists on many albums who have used this kind of theme before, and what they have to say is often boring and very much clichéd... none of that on this one, I'll tell you... just listen to one of the prettiest versions I've ever heard of "Gentle Rain", and you'll hear what I mean - crystal-clear keys and cymbal work as crisp as though you were right there only 3 feet from them as they talk through the tune.  What that means from a listening standpoint is that you must listen to this CD with your headphones on, and ensure that you won't be interrupted... heck, if we could get a couple of politicians to sit down and have this kind of honest communication, our troubles would soon melt away.  Dave's original composition "Song Of You" is far more than "just another piano track"... I fell in love with his message on this immediately.  The tune that had the most sensitive aura about it (for me, anyway) was another Anderson original, the six minute "Light Of Darkness"... it's my absolute favorite on the CD.  I'm impressed enough to give this one my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, as well as an "EQ" (energy quotient) rating of 4.97... I believe you'll agree, especially if you love music that talks to you!  Get more information at 

Brad Walseth - (Aug 2, 2010) 


Piano duos are fairly commonplace, but a duo of piano and percussion is hardly an every day occurrence. What allows this fine new release from Washington D.C.-area pianist Dave Anderson and drummer Mike Wingo from becoming a mere novelty album is the fact that both players are not only excellent musicians, but that they listen to each other and play off one another so well. The duo starts off with a delectable version of "It Might as Well be Spring," with Anderson providing an engaging interpretation and Wingo responding with bongos and a plethora of percussive accompaniment. This interesting presentation continues across well known songs like "Gentle Rain," a gorgeous "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face," "Lucky Southern," "Autumn Leaves" (where Wingo's percussion simulates the sounds of rustling leaves) and "In a Sentimental Mood," as well as several lesser-known gems like Jobim's "If You Never Come to Me," Richard Rogers' "Spring is Here" and Chick Corea's "La Fiesta." Anderson also includes three originals: the joyous "Song Is You," haunting "Sunrise" and "Light of Darkness." Anderson's playing has a bit of a "Keith Jarrett-meets-Vince Guaraldi" feel - with elements of Bill Evans and classical music thrown in. Wingo, meanwhile, has a knack for adding the right sounds and rhythms at the right place - and it is obvious these two musicians have performed together and have a feel for each others' tendencies. The lack of any other musicians not only does not infringe upon the enjoyment here, but rather frees both players to provide more than they are probably generally asked to contribute, and with more clarity, and this makes for a satisfying experiment in sound based on musical conversations between two sensitive musicians. 

Rotcod Zzaj - Improvijazzation Nation (Oct 21, 2010)


Review: Dave Anderson's new album Conversations is a collection of jazz standards and some originals arranged for a duo of piano and percussion. I only remember another album recorded with this format, Michel Camilo and Giovanni Hidalgo Hands of Rhythm. This duo setting gives the pianist more space and freedom to play. 

The percussion played by Mike Wingo on the first track,"It Might As Well Be Spring", sounds like a tap dancer, dancing to Dave's piano playing and Dave's style reminds me at times of the great pianist Bob James. 

Dave's cascades of melodies feels like raindrops on "Gentle Rain", one of the most beautiful songs by Bossa Nova pioneer, Luiz Bonfa. Dave gets you in a romantic mood with the lovely version of "I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face", and his nice harmonic and melodic arrangement puts a more upbeat, positive twist to "Autumn Leaves". 

"La Fiesta" is one of those Chick Corea compositions with a clear Spain influence. This is a piece that sounds great on this piano/percussion duo format. Well played by Mike and Dave capturing that flamenco feeling. 

"In A Sentimental Mood" is maybe my favorite Ellington composition and Dave's beautifully played version is one of the best I’ve heard. 

This album also includes some of Dave's originals like "Song Of You", with nice tempo and intensity changes, the beautiful ballad "Sunrise", and the classical feel of "Light of Darkness". 

"Conversations" ends up with a wonderful version of Tom Jobim's "If you never come to me" (Inutil Paisagem). 

Wilbert Sostre - JazzTimes (Jul 28, 2010) 


Can a good jazz album be had from it being nothing more than a piano and drums duet? It is when it is performed by Dave Anderson & Mike Wingo, who communicate with each other in the appropriately titled Conversations (self-released). 

Looking at the track listing, it might seem like the same old songs and two musicians going through the motions with minimalistic instrumentation, but get that out of your head. These are two musicians who know of the limitations of being a duet, but also know the potential of what can happen between the two. Songs like “In A Sentimental Mood”, “Spring Is Here”, “It Might As Well Be Spring”, and “I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face” will definitely blow anyone away, especially if you are fans of these songs or are an elitist of sorts who thinks “ha ha, these songs are just reheating the chestnuts”. No, it’s a mere dusting off of the gems and showing how well they can be interepreted, which is what most of the top jazz musicians do anyway. 

Considering Conversations dialogue in a different dialect, or just a unique one. 

John Book - Book's Music (Jul 13, 2010) 


Nice, light, melodic piano instrumentals presented simply without unnecessary ingredients muddying the mix. On "Conversations" Dave Anderson and percussionist Mike Wingo present their renditions of jazz standards that they rearranged as a duo. The pair are a perfect match for this style of music. Wingo's precise and appropriately restrained percussion provides a solid foundation for Anderson's free-flowing jazzy style of playing. We like the nice sparse open sound of these recordings. It's always refreshing to hear musicians who concentrate on their playing rather than trying to find ways that technology can cover up their shortcomings (!). Cool breezy instrumentals include "It Might As Well Be Spring," "Lucky Southern," "Sunrise," and "If You Never Come To Me." Nice stuff played with integrity and style... 

Don Seven - LMNOP Magazine (Jul 20, 2010) 


"Dave Anderson is a jazz pianist of rare sensitivity." 

Edgar Kushotka - Philadelphia Inquirer