Sheryl Bailey

The Power of 3!

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Accompanied by Hammond B-3 organ and drums, guitarist and composer Sheryl Bailey is working within a format that is well established in jazz tradition. And her compositions, though distinctly modern, are comfortably within the straight-ahead jazz mainstream as well. But her chameleonic ability to shift tone and style is one of the most impressive things about her -- notice how she moves effortlessly from a clear, rich jazz tone on the swinging post-bop workout "Starbrite" into the slightly raunchier, John Scofield-esque funk of "Ray's Way." Then there's the sweet and gentle solo piece entitled "Arpeggio," which closes the album on a meditative note. Throughout the album, bassist Ian Froman and organist Gary Versace keep Bailey on her toes, pushing her just enough to keep the mood fiery and bright but not so much that they get in her way. The quality of Bailey's compositions is worth pointing out as well; on this album, every one of them is more complex than you'd guess at first listen, and each of them is a gem. Highly recommended.

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