"Throughout the world of avid admirers and jazz connoisseurs, Bill Mays has become known as an innovator and major contributor."
Sheldon T. Nunn Jazz Review
"Bill Mays leads one of the best working piano trios (with bassist Martin Wind and drummer Matt Wilson) on the current jazz scene.
Ken Dryden Chattanooga Times Free Press
"Mays and his smoking trio pay tribute to the concept of home...a moody, well tempered release that flows wonderfully and shows him at the top of his
Chris Spector, Midwest Record Recap
"A musician’s musician for far too long, pianist Mays deserves wider recognition for the outstanding work he’s done with his latest trio. Flanked by two exceptionally alert and responsive players—bassist Martin Wind and drummer Matt Wilson—Mays exhibits his fluid, speak-softly-but-spare-no-intensity style on a thematic program of seasonal standards and group originals that blossom under the ensemble’s telepathic interplay."
Steve Futterman, Entertainment Weekly
"One of the masters of color and touch among today’s pianists, Mays makes the most of possibilities in original compositions by members of the trio and an attractive batch of works by others."
Doug Ramsey - JazzTimes
"...Gerry Mulligan said that Bill Mays was definitely the best piano player he ever played with. And the incredibly versatile Mays is known in the competitive New York scene as a musician with an almost unlimited scope of talents."
Jurg Sommer - Aargauer Zeitung (Swiss daily newspaper)
" He is a jazz treasure of protean abilities, who can re-invent a song, yet who manages always to let the music speak for itself. His formidable pianistic technique is seemingly effortless, but he never allows his prowess to interfere with the music's statement." George Burks - Amazon.com
Mays in Manhattan
"What fun to arrange, stamping a project with your creative imprint. Pianist Bill Mays does just that on Mays In Manhattan. With the well known (“Autumn In New York”) and lesser known (Lennie Tristano’s “317 E. 32nd St.”), Mays takes a trio and sextet ride around the isle of Manhattan.
Mays channels his natural exuberance through his sextet arrangements....The Bronx may be up and the Battery down, but Bill Mays is all around the town. Take a ride with him."
Sunsh Stein - JazzTimes
An Ellington Affair
'This recording avoids the most overworked Ellington compositions and gives a fresh quality to the well-known ones it does include...What’s interesting is that the interpretations are neither completely nostalgic nor totally modern but a savvy mixture of the two. This versatile trio can conjure up a boogie-woogie feel on “I’m Just A Lucky So And So” that’s not so far from an Ellington recording made in the ‘30s, or summon images of Charleston dancers kicking up their heels to the ricky-tick time of “Dancers In Love.”
Elaine Guregian - Downbeat ****
Solo At Maybeck
"Chalk up another top echelon performance in this never ending series of solo piano recitals. Mays broke the hearts of his West Coast following (including many musicians) by moving to New York several years ago. He returned west for this concert and wove a spell for the always attentive Maybeck audience...Mays is one of a new breed of pianists: deep in the tradition and dedicated to it. This recording provides the evidence."
George Fendel - Jazz Scene
Reviews - Live Appearances
"In his interpretations of standards, Mays’ experience as a vocal accompanist and a composer-arranger were ever-present in his solos. Well-crafted, filled with intriguing melodic counter phrases, his choruses unfolded with the logic and the connectiveness of preconceived compositions...The most entertaining number in Mays’ set was a humorous but musically engaging combination of Bach and Charlie Parker, “Bach Meets Bird,” in which he blended elements of the Bach Two Part Invention in F and Parker’s “Ah-Leu-Cha,” with bits and pieces from other bop tunes tossed in for good measure. It was a good example of the sort of lightheartedness that serves jazz well opening up the music to listeners leery of improvisational journeys through more discordant musical landscapes."
Don Heckman - LA Times
"Mays plays on pure inspiration, that exalted level where mere technical concerns have been long forgotten...The result is jazz of a sophistication and sheer spontaneity that¹s rarely heard."
Mark Miller - Toronto Globe and Mail
"The concert is characterized easily: wonderful music from three musicians with a congenial partnership. The ingredients were perfect, deep interplay on one hand, and individual brilliance and virtuosity on the other. The fun the musicians obviously had made evident that there was always room for humor and spontaneity besides the more creative/intellectual moments."
Aargauer Zeitung Baden (CH), Switzerland
"His opening set was a marvel...It all seemed so relaxed and at the same time so spontaneous, so exhilarating and so exuberant that the very process of invention at the heart of jazz seemed to be illuminated."
Geoff Chapman - The Toronto Star
"When cellist Bert Phillips asked jazz pianist Bill Mays to bring his trio to play with the classical musicians for Monday night's concert at the Luzerne Chamber Music Festival, he probably didn't realize what an inspiration that idea was. The evening was not only a fabulous success; it was also illuminating to hear how well the two styles work together. Of course, most of that credit goes to Mays' skillful and graceful ability as an arranger. Every piece that mingled jazz reference with the classical molds sang because of the fluidity during the style breaks."
Geraldine Freedman - Glen Falls Post Star
"The evening began innocently enough with J.S. Bach's Concerto for Two Violins, Cello and Piano in C Minor. Once the traditional arrangement was complete, however, Mays et al. took over, and 250 years fell away as Mays and his cohorts twisted and massaged Bach's composition like silly putty...In between dissection and reinvention of those classical composers, however, the trio and members of the quartet threw in a raft of other offerings to saturate even the most voracious of jazz improvisation appetites."
Joe Longstreth and Peg Goldberg - Naples Daily News
For The Holiday Chamber Jazz Septet
"Last night¹s debut concert by the newly minted Toronto Chamber Jazz Septet was a taste of jazz light, but mercifully never became jazz smooth, that musical opiate for the inattentive masses. The ensemble assembled in a full Glenn Gould Studio was led by versatile pianist-composer-arranger Bill Mays, a New York-based artist who recently recorded the same heady brew of anthems from jazz, Broadway and classics with the Manhattan Chamber Jazz Septet...Mays recruited four leading Canadian reedmen: P. J. Perry, Phil Dwyer, Vern Dorge and John Johnson to go along with pulse kings Neil Swainson on bass and Terry Clarke on drums. The leader himself augments his arranging skills with the finesse of Jimmy Rowles, the spirit of Art Tatum and the drive of Horace Silver on the keyboard..."
Geoff Chapman - The Toronto Star