Sax in the City
(not to be confused with the New York based saxophone quartet of the same name) is a compilation effort produced by New York saxophonist and composer Laura Dreyer. In addition to featuring some of the top female jazz talent in the New York area, this CD is also being used to raise funds for breast cancer research. The title of the CD is somewhat misleading, since the musicians within, display a wide variety of instrumental talents. In addition to five saxophonists, the CD also includes contributions from pianists Deanna Witkowski, Sara Jane Cion, and Kerry Politzer, guitarists Sheryl Bailey and Jane Getter, and a track by saxophonist Jenny Hill which utilizes her flute instead of her horn.
Most of the offerings on Sax In the City
would be classified as urban or contemporary jazz. And most revolve around a common theme of Latin rhythm including percussionists and arrangements that blend the human voice along with instrumental lines. But in addition to this there's a good dose of straight-ahead, Horace-Silver-inspired funky bop in Virginia Mayhew's "Hi-ya, Mama!", with female bop trumpeter Ingrid Jensen included in Mayhew's group, as well as guitarist Cheryl Bailey's virtuoso acoustic solo performance of "Waltz for NK."
All of the tunes on this CD are original compositions by their performers, and there is no shortage of either talent or energy in the tunes. All of the groups include capable sidemen, many of whom will be of note to wider jazz audiences. Pianist Deanna Witkowski's "Song For Sarah" is a pensive theme lightened by Jim Gailoreto's soprano sax; Sue Terry's "The Troubadours" showcases an alto sax and trombone horn line over energetic Latin rhythms; Ada Rovatti's full-throated tenor glides through her ballad "Romance", aided by guitarist Mike Stern.
This CD not only promotes a worthy charity, it also succeeds as a promotional tool which will hopefully bring the creative endeavors of eleven talented musicians into contact with a much wider -- and much deserved -- audience.