Various Artists

Sax in the City

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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden

The compilation Sax in the City was conceived as a way to showcase 11 talented ladies and their original compositions, all of whom are a part of the New York City jazz scene. Laura Dreyer, who conceived the project, opens with "Mysterious Encounter," an original Latin number with a contemporary flavor. Pianist and vocalist Deanna Witkowski contributed the "Song for Sarah," a haunting work that showcases her voice in unison with soprano saxophonist Jim Gailloreto. Pianist Sarah Jane Cion is heard in a traditional trio setting as she explores her moody "Gabrielle." Tenor saxophonist Virginia Mayhew (formerly a member of the big band Diva, as was Dreyer) interacts with the fine trumpeter Ingrid Jensen in the soul-jazz samba "Hi-ya, Mama!," with a rhythm section anchored by veteran pianist Kenny Barron. Ada Rovatti, another tenor saxophonist, plays her loping but soulful "Romance," joined by guitarist Mike Stern and pianist Jill McCarron. The only solo track included is Sheryl Bailey's acoustic guitar masterpiece "Waltz for NK," which employs some unusual effects rarely heard on jazz dates. The diverse sound of the original material performed by these 11 ladies featured as leaders in this collection will undoubtedly get most buyers of the CD to check out the individuals discs from which these selections were drawn. The proceeds from the sale of this release benefit Breast Cancer Charities.

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