CD of the Month: Virginia Mayhew Quartet/ Mary Lou Williams - The Next 100 Years/ Renma Recordings

Jun 30, 2012

Tenor saxophonist Virginia Mayhew celebrates the  100th year anniversary of the birth of Mary Lou Williams  with new arrangements of eight Williams compositions, including "What's You Story, Morning Glory?", material from the "Zodiac Suite",  plus two new compositions by Virginia inspired by the legendary pianist.

Mary Lou Williams was born on May 8, 1910 and became one of the most important composers and pianists in jazz, performing in every stylistic period of the genre. Original recordings and performances of Williams display one of the most accomplished and vital artists in jazz, who deserves fuller recognition by new generations of jazz fans. The new release by Virginia Mayhew brings much needed attention to the accomplishments of the legendary pianist, and is a great treasure.   

In the studio are Virginia Mayhew (tenor saxophone), Ed Cherry (guitar), Harvie S (bass), Andy Watson (drums) with special guest trombonist Wycliffe Gordon. Together they create a compelling presentation of music of and inspired by the woman Duke Ellington called "Soul on Soul".

Virginia Mayhew has been an active on the New York jazz scene since 1987. She has worked with a galaxy of music legends, including Clark Terry, Kenny Barron, Dena DeRose, Ingrid Jensen, Cab Calloway, Frank Zappa, James Brown, and many others.
Virginia has toured worldwide, traveling twice as a representative of the United States as Jazz Ambassador to the Newly Independent States( formerly included in the USSR: …Kazakhstan, Moldova, Armenia, Belarus, Ukraine) and Southeast Asia. She has also performed at many worldwide jazz festivals including the Monterey Jazz Festival, JVC Jazz Festival, Floating Jazz Festival, Verizon Jazz Festival, Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center, San Francisco Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, Guinness Cork (Ireland) Jazz Festival, Verizon Music Festival, Perth International Arts Festival, Melbourne Jazz Festival,  Jazz At Sea, and others.

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