Various Artists: Sax In The City (2005)
A collection of New York's best women jazz instrumentalists would be an enticing compilation in and of itself, but throw in the fact that proceeds from the CD will benefit breast cancer charities and the project is very hard to pass up. Organized by alto saxophonist Laura Dreyer, Sax In The City features eleven tracks led by an intriguing group of female artists.
Pianist Sarah Jane Cion contributes the lovely, sparkling "Gabrielle with Phil Palombi on bass and Billy Hart on drums. The three play with the special telepathy that is the hallmark of any great trio. Jenny Hill plays flute on the stimulating, percussive "To H With Love. The blend of her flute and Russ Johnson's flugelhorn evokes a palpable sense of peace.
The most stunning piece on the album is Sheryl Bailey's solo guitar performance of her own composition "Waltz For NK. This is the sort of intimacy for which headphones were invented. Her guitar darts through the soundstage, singing its melody in whichever place it chances to land momentarily. The song is remarkably evocative and the performance gives it a hushed grace.
Ultimately Sax In The City serves two noble purposes. The first, of course, is to aid in the fight against and treatment of breast cancer. The second is to expose the work of these talented women. Grouped together, the richness and eclecticism of their work is truly inspiring. On multiple levels, this is a truly worthy album.
Track Listing: Mysterious Encounter; Song For Sarah; The Troubadors; Gabrielle; Hi-ya Mama!; Pablo; Malambito; Romance; Waltz For Nk; To H With Love; Yearning.
Personnel: Laura Dreyer; Deanna Witkowski; "Sweet" Sue Terry; Sarah Jane Cion; Virginia Mayhew; Jane Getter; Cecilia Tenconi; Ada Rovatti; Sheryl Bailey; Jenny Hill; Kerry Politzer.