Virginia Mayhew: Sandan Shuffle (2006)
Since Dexter Gordon's name came up, Mayhew opens the disc with the original title tune, which features her tenor sax sounding strong and loose and relaxed, Gordon-like, over a bouncing rhythm. This good-time composition is about as danceable and engaging as a piece of music can get.
And since Sonny Rollins' name came up, track two, the classic Harold Arlen gem "Let's Fall in Love," goes into a Rollins-esque calypso/cha cha groove, with Mayhew's tone blowing hearty and robust, and first-call bassist Harvie S sounding especially elastic in the rhythm.
Mayhew wrote four of these tunes, revisiting her classic "Monterey Blues" from Phantoms. Two more numbers were penned by bassist Harvie S; and the group takes on Monk with an especially fine, funky and loose-limbed rendition of "In Walked Bud." The saxophonist breaks out the soprano horn on Hoagy Carmichael's "I Get Along Without You Very Well" and on Mayhew's own classic-sounding "Spring is Not Here."
With 2003's Phantoms, Virginia Mayhew claimed a spot on the top level of jazz saxophonists. Sandan Shuffle backs that claim up.
Track Listing: Sandan Shuffle; Let's Fall in Love; Now I Know; Spring is Not Here; Jazz-Like; I Thought You Loved Me; In Walked Bud; Tenderly; I Get Along Without You Very Well; Monterey Blues.
Personnel: Virginia Mayhew: tenor and soprano saxophones, guiro; Kenny Wessel: guitar; Harvie S: bass; Victor "Yahya" Jones: drums
Record Label: Renma Recordings