Posts Tagged ‘ Mary Lou Williams – The Next 100 Years ’

Virginia Mayhew Quartet – Mary Lou Williams – The Next 100 Years

There’s something about a tenor sax that’s just special. Range, richness of tone, certainly, but maybe there’s something to how the instrument is played. Virginia Mayhew does the instrument justice as she and her quartet present Mary Lou Williams – The Next 100 Years (Renma Recordings, 2012).

Mayhew is accompanied by Ed Cherry on guitar, Harvie S on bass and Andy Watson on drums. Special guest Wycliffe Gordon plays trombone on selected tracks. The ensemble celebrates 2010 as the 100th anniversary of the birth of songwriter Mary Lou Williams.

The set begins with “J.B.’s Waltz,” a swinging blues piece written in 3 / 4. Williams was among the first jazz musicians to play in anything other than 4 / 4. Written for her half-brother, Jerry Burley, this rendition features solos by Mayhew, Cherry and Watson. Regardless of who’s out front, or even if the ensemble plays as a whole, Harvie S holds it together on the bass.

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