191

Virginia Mayhew: Phantoms

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Virginia Mayhew: Phantoms Saxophonist Virginia Mayhew goes with the pianoless quartet on Phantoms, her third CD as a leader—a format that allows the space and freedom for the band to stretch out. They make the most of the opportunity.

Without the comping and chording of the piano, each of the four instrumentalists has to contribute to keeping the music alive and vibrant. The biggest drawback to this format is the potential for a lack of texture; but Mayhew's Phantoms has the intricate weave that comes from a band that has worked together. One word: arrangements—a solist steps out front, the backing unit shifts, changes gears, disperses or closes ranks, supplying nutrient rich undercurrents to the melody.

Miles Davis's Nefertiti keeps coming to mind, not because of the sax tone (Mayhew's is round and robust) or Ingrid Jensen's trumpet/flugelhorn sound, neither of which resemble the Shorter/Davis combo—but because of the subtle textures, the churning undercurrents.

The other dramatic impression is the emotion the band brings to the tunes. The sax/trumpet cries on Cole Porter's "I Love You" evoke a yearning, combined with an uneasy ambivalence concerning that thing called love; and "I'm a Fool to Want You" dredges up all the bitter melancholy associated with unrequited longing.

A nicely paced and balanced set, full of facinating reed/brass conversations. A breakout effort by Virginia Mayhew.

Visit Virginia Mayhew on the web.


Track Listing: The Theme/Phantoms, I Love You, Monterey Blues, I'm Fool to Want You, Babble On, Live Your Life, Facil, Fall, Dubai, Rhythm-A-Ning, The Theme

Personnel: Ingrid Jensen, trumpet and flugelhorn; Harvie S., bass; Allison Miller, drums and percussion; Virginai Mayhew, tenor and soprano sax

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Renma Recordings | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Josh At Midnight" CD/LP/Track Review Josh At Midnight
by James Nadal
Published: July 19, 2016
Read "Sektion 1-2" CD/LP/Track Review Sektion 1-2
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 21, 2016
Read "Momentum" CD/LP/Track Review Momentum
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 18, 2016
Read "Cactus" CD/LP/Track Review Cactus
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 26, 2016
Read "Summergold Promises" CD/LP/Track Review Summergold Promises
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "Zentuary" CD/LP/Track Review Zentuary
by John Kelman
Published: December 25, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!