Joyride

Article excerpt

Cynthia Sayer

Joyride

Plunk P122

Cynthia Sayer (bjo, vcl, , kazoo on track 1, arr) Mauro Battisti (b on tracks 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12) Larry Eagle (d, perc, washboard on tracks 1, 8) Charlie Giordano (acc except tracks 3, 10 & 13). With guests; Sara Caswell (vln on track 3 ) Adrian Cunningham (cl on track 6) Jon Herington (el-g on track 2) Scott Robinson (ts on tracks 2, 4, tarogato on track 11) Marcus Rojas (tuba on tracks 1, 2, 4, 13) Randy Sandke (tp on tracks 7, 10) Mike Weatherly (b on tracks 5, 11, backup vocals on tracks 2, 5) TT 50:04

1. Banjo Blues/2. Move It On Over/3. I Get Ideas (Adios Muchachos)/4. Ella Miriam's Blues/5. You Talk Too Much/6. The Man On The Flying Trapeze /7. I Love Paris/8. Getting To Know You /9. El Irresistible/10. Goody Goody/11. Honey/12. Under The Bamboo Tree/13. When You Wish Upon A Star. NYC, 2012.

The talents of Cynthia Sayer had been completely unknown to me until her CD Joyride recently came to my attention. Sayer is regarded as one of the top 4-string banjo players in the world today and she has been a member of Woody Allen's jazz band for over 10 years. Her eclectic repertoire ranges from swing and hot jazz to tango, western, classical, and more, and many of these influences appear here.

Cynthia has worked with a variety of leading jazz musicians such as Wynton Marsalis, Marian McPartland and Dick Hyman, as well as with some top bluegrass/roots/country artists. For a period of time she was the official banjoist for the New York Yankees!

Think of banjo players and you usually think (with the exception of Béla Fleck) of somebody chuggin' away in a trad jazz or New Orleans style band. Modern day female banjo players are an even rarer breed of jazz musician. However, up pops Ms. Sayer whose work has been a revelation for me. Firstly, she is a true virtuoso on her instrument who arranged all the tunes on this offering, secondly she mixes wit and humor into her music in a way that also elevates her to the status of an all-round entertainer, rather than just a jazz musician. You get this with piano players, but rarely banjoists! …