Mimi Fox –
(Favored Nations – 2006)
by Paula Edelstein
Mimi Fox is not only a “rising star” in the jazz guitar galaxy; she is a major talent and a brilliant example of an artist who has mastered her profession. She shines on several different levels and her laurels don’t rest on a single accomplishment. She is a songwriter, guitarist, arranger, and producer who has performed with such acclaimed musicians as Charlie Byrd, Charlie Hunter, David Sanchez, Don Lanphere, Janis Siegel, Dr. Lonnie Smith, and Teri Lyne Carrington, among others. This particular double disc set captures both sides of her many talents as a leader of an ensemble and as a solo artist.
On Disc One Fox is accompanied by a great band that features pianist Xavier Davis, Bassist Harve S and Drummer Billy Hart, and the song selection is awesome. Opening the set with what is sure to become one of her best- known originals, “Perpetually Hip” is the epitome of a great composition for jazz guitar. Fox’s mellow, refined command of the fretboard is simply stunning. She explores and pays tribute to the cool and bop influences of guitarists Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell and Joe Green. Xavier Davis offers a brilliant piano solo, which put the word hip in a whole new light. Further into the set, their innovative takes on such Great American Songbook hits as “The Song Is You,” “But Beautiful,” “Night And Day,” and “So Many Stars” showcase her warm, clean, guitar chords and tones in a variety of moods.
Disc Two opens with “Caravan,” and features the solo talents of Mimi Fox. Her dramatic interpretation, timing and chord voicings are remarkable. Fresh takes on “Someone To Watch Over Me and “Skylark” come in the form of a medley. The reharmonized version is perpetually hip’ and I’m sure you’ll agree after hearing this excellent offering from Mimi Fox.