Recently having heard and been impressed by Mimi Fox's performance on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, I was looking forward to hearing the guitarist's most recent CD, Perpetually Hip. The double-disc release is actually two separate albums.
The first features Fox with the excellent rhythm section of pianist Xavier Davis, bassist Harvie S. and drummer Billy Hart. This disc features seven tracks, three of which were penned by Fox, including her beautiful original title tune, which features a wonderful solo by Davis.
The second disc, a solo CD, is a tour de force display by Fox. The guitarist is nearing the top of her craft. There are no gimmicks, overdubs or loops, just six jazz standards, all treated to fresh interpretations. "Caravan is given an up-tempo Latin tinge, and the old war horse "On Green Dolphin Street gets a bit of soul. Fox also provides an interesting medley, combining "Someone To Watch Over Me and "Skylark.
Both discs provide room for Fox to display her ample skills, but if forced to pick one, I would have to vote for the first because of the musicianship and overall dynamics displayed by the band. Fox has recently been gaining recognition, as witnessed by her being named "Rising Star" in three consecutive Down Beat International Critics Polls (2003-05). She may find herself on a second list for the best CD of 2006.
CD1 (with band): Perpetually Hip; The Song is You; But Beautiful; Saluting the Groove;
Night and Day; While Bangkok Sleeps; So Many Stars. CD2 (solo guitar): Caravan; Polkadots
and Moonbeams; On Green Dolphin Street; Alone Together; Medley: Someone to Watch
Over Me / Skylark; When the Saints Go Marching In.
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