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Taking up the instrument at the age of 13, Cynthia Sayer is now a top jazz banjo player in jazz rivalling Bela Fleck. Combining her banjo with a straight forward and sometimes rough and ready singing style, Sayer has parlayed this favorable marriage of skills into a very successful career, having performed with many top flight jazz artists, appearing live at many venues - - including the White House - - and working on the sound tracks of films like Purple Rose of Cairo. She is also a member of Woody Allen's New Orleans Jazz Band.
Sayer left nothing behind in the studio in cutting this fine album. The performances recall New Orleans style jazz. But they also capture the ambience of performances at bars and saloons, dance halls and old time vaudeville and minstrel shows. Sayer expands the banjo beyond those tunes where one expects to hear the instrument (and there are those on this disc). She plays by herself on You, "Until the Real Thing Comes Along" and "Always", playing her plectrum banjo with a style and elegance normally not heard from past and current practitioners (few as they may be) of the instrument. She also is adept with a tenor guitar, which sounds like a softer version of the banjo.
The players who accompanied Sayer to the studio are major contributors to the success of this CD. Clarinetist Kenny Davern appears on six tracks. His opening on "More Than You Know" with Jay Leonhart playing bass underneath is a joy to hear. The mandolin, rarely heard in jazz these days, in the hands of Barry Mitterhoff, gives a fresh sound to songs like "April Showers" and "You'll Never Know". Joe Ascione's drums, with Leonhart's bass, provide a solid rhythmic underpinning for the set. The play list is a fortuitously selected agenda of tunes. There are old standbys and some songs like "Rialto Ripples" which are not performed much anymore. Traditional pop is represented by blasts from the past like "Don't Fence Me In". This album is a generous 64 minutes of just plain fun and is strongly recommended. Visit Sayer's Internet page at http://home.earthlink. net/~cynth.com.
Track Listing: L-O-V-E; You; More Than You Know; You Turned the Tables on Me; April Showers; Because My Baby Don't Mean Maybe Now; Tumbling Tumbleweeds; Until the Real Thing Comes Along; Always; South of the Border; Rialto Ripples; I've Got a Crush on You; Someday (You'll Want Me to Want You); Don't Fence Me In; You'll Never Know
Personnel: Cynthia Sayer - Plectrum Banjo/Tenor Guitar/Vocals; Kenny Davern - Clarinet; Bob Mastro - Violin; Barry Mitterhoff - Mandolin; James Chirillo - Guitar; Jay Leonhart - Bass; Joe Ascione - Drums
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com