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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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VIRGINIA MAYHEW SEPTET

A Simple Thank You

Renma Recordings 6401CD

 

 



1. Just a Blues
2. One for the Parking Fairy
3. Spring is Not Here
4. A Simple Thank You
5. Rhythm-A-Ning
6. Apple Flambe
7. I Thought You Loved Me
8. Live Your Life
9. Sandan Shuffle
 
Virginia Mayhew – Tenor sax, soprano sax
Harvie S – Bass
Victor Jones – Drums
Kenny Wessel – Guitar
Noah Bless – Trombone
Scott Harrell – Trumpet, flugelhorn
Lisa Parrott – Alto sax, baritone sax
GUESTS
Mayra Casales – Percussion
Ingrid Jenson – Trumpet 

Before hearing this record I was unaware of the music of Virginia Mayhew. I did not know what I was missing. Not only is she a very fine saxophone player judged by any standards, but she is an excellent composer and arranger. For this record she has put together an interesting band of exciting musicians.  

The rhythm section with the guitar of Kenny Wessel at its heart is outstanding, surefooted and providing an ideal support to the soloists. 

The first track starts with two excellent solos, the first by Lisa Parrott on alto and the second by the leader on tenor. They are followed by the superb guitar work of Kenny Wessell; this guy is really something whether soloing or comping behind the other soloists. There is also some excellent trumpet from Scott Harrell on this track. 

Track 2, an original composition from the leader, features trombonist Noah Bless as well as the leader, who is particularly convincing throughout the album.. 

Bassist Harvie S wrote the title tune of the album, a nice gentle piece which features Virginia Mayhew soloing with great poise and inventiveness and one of the guests Ingrid Jenson on trumpet who is also a very capable soloist. 

The one standard is  Monk’s Rhythm-A-Ning, but to add a little spice Virginia does it in 7/8 time, this does not seem to cause anybody in this band problems, in fact the casual listener might not even notice it! 

Virginia’s tune Apple Flambe is a real tour de force, a great tune with excellent solos from all concerned. I Thought You Loved Me is another of the leader's tunes and this starts as a haunting ballad, before moving into ¾ tempo. Live Your Life is a bossa and a very pleasant melody, excellently arranged for the septet. Sandan Shuffle is in 7/4 time and another good tune which features most of the septet members. 

This album is not to be confused with the average: this is a good band with confident and interesting soloists. I recommend it without reservation. 
 

Don Mather



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