Cynthia Sayer | Cynthia: The Jazz Banjo of Cynthia Sayer, Vol. 1 / More Jazz Banjo, Vol. 2  (Remastered)

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Cynthia: The Jazz Banjo of Cynthia Sayer, Vol. 1 / More Jazz Banjo, Vol. 2 (Remastered)

by Cynthia Sayer

"Cynthia" The Reissue Recordings, award-winning and newly remastered, features celebrated banjoist/vocalist Cynthia Sayer's first two recordings on one long-playing CD, with iconic jazz legends Bucky Pizzarelli, Dick Wellstood, & Milt Hinton.
Genre: Jazz: Retro Swing
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Doin' the New Low Down (feat. Dick Wellstood & Greg Cohen)
3:12 $0.99
2. When I Leave the World Behind (feat. Dick Wellstood & Greg Cohen)
2:51 $0.99
3. Swing 42 (feat. Milt Hinton & Dick Wellstood)
3:06 $0.99
4. Georgia Rainbow (feat. Dick Wellstood & Greg Cohen)
3:48 $0.99
5. Give Me Liberty or Give Me Love (feat. Milt Hinton & Dick Wellstood)
3:41 $0.99
6. Chinatown, My Chinatown (feat. Dick Wellstood & Greg Cohen)
3:54 $0.99
7. Pastime Rag No. 4 (feat. Dick Wellstood & Greg Cohen)
2:44 $0.99
8. Once in a While (feat. Milt Hinton & Dick Wellstood)
2:43 $0.99
9. What'll I Do (feat. Milt Hinton & Dick Wellstood)
3:28 $0.99
10. Blues (My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me) [feat. Dick Wellstood & Greg Cohen]
3:11 $0.99
11. Oh, Baby! (Don't Say No - Say May-Be) [feat. Dick Wellstood & Greg Cohen]
3:12 $0.99
12. Diga Diga Doo (feat. Milt Hinton & Dick Wellstood)
2:43 $0.99
13. I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me (feat. Bucky Pizzarelli)
4:00 $0.99
14. Swing 39 (feat. Bucky Pizzarelli)
3:35 $0.99
15. It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) [feat. Dick Wellstood & Greg Cohen]
3:09 $0.99
16. Someone to Watch over Me (feat. Bucky Pizzarelli)
4:12 $0.99
17. Lover, Come Back to Me (feat. Bucky Pizzarelli)
4:21 $0.99
18. Strut Miss Lizzie (feat. Dick Wellstood & Greg Cohen)
3:35 $0.99
19. In the Dark (feat. Dick Wellstood & Greg Cohen)
3:24 $0.99
20. Chevy Chase (feat. Dick Wellstood & Greg Cohen)
4:25 $0.99
21. Exactly Like You (feat. Dick Wellstood & Greg Cohen)
2:38 $0.99
22. Indian Sagwa (feat. Bucky Pizzarelli)
2:11 $0.99
23. I Love to Sing for People (When They Talk) [feat. Dick Wellstood & Greg Cohen]
3:12 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This extra-long playing CD is a reissue of celebrated banjoist/vocalist Cynthia Sayer's first two albums. Originally titled "The Jazz Banjo Of Cynthia Sayer (Vol 1)" featuring Milt Hinton & Dick Wellstood, and "More Jazz Banjo (Vol 2)" featuring Bucky Pizzarelli & Dick Wellstood, both of these albums grabbed international intention upon their release, and both were selected by CADENCE MAGAZINE as a "Top-10 Classic Jazz Release" for their release year.

* * * * *
While many people who are into jazz are always looking for the next newest thing (perhaps you), there are also people (perhaps you) who listen to jazz of the past and get transported to that place and time, or at least what is thought of as how things were then. In other words, the music, which was a part of the culture of the time, recreates the essence of that era in which it was played.

There are some performers, however, who for some reason connect so well with the past that their music feels totally authentic. Cynthia Sayer is one of those artists.

In listening to Cynthia - The Reissue Recordings, there is no mistaking that here is a performer who is totally inside the style, somehow living and breathing its very essence. Sayer is a consummate performer, not only playing a very sharp four-string banjo, but also singing with a voice that will melt all but the hardest of hearts.

These performances come from twenty years ago, and one can only imagine how a young performer making her first recording must have felt to be able to play with Milt Hinton, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Dick Wellstood. Hinton, born in 1910, actually worked with many of greatest performers in the '20s and '30s. Wellstood (who died shortly after these sessions) is acknowledged as one of the supreme masters of stride piano and the music of that time. Pizzarelli is one of the preeminent swing guitarists living today. Together, they provide an extremely solid backdrop for Sayer's enthusiasm.

The point here is not the mere recreation of a dead style, but the expression of the very soul of a person who comes alive through this music. “Classic” or traditional jazz has two main characteristics. The first is that for the most part, it is tied to the song or tune. Thousands of well-crafted tunes form the bedrock of jazz through the Swing Era. Whether it is played or sung, the tune sets the mood, and the words inform the improvisers. Many of the tunes played have an harmonic structure that places it in time, as does the kind of rhythmic treatment it receives. The second one is that recording technology limited performances to about three minutes, so there was no “stretching out.”

This release is made up of 23 tracks totaling 77 minutes, so the average track length is about three and a half minutes. Nothing feels rushed, however, since everyone involved is used to this aesthetic. Wellstood does so many things so perfectly that it is a joy to listen. For example, on “When I leave The World Behind,” he plays the right chords behind Sayer in her rubato intro. Then when the tune takes off for the banjo solo, he fills in the spaces between the banjo phrases with answers, and many times plays subtle counterpoint under everyone. His short solo is a textbook example of economy.

Pizzarelli is heard mostly on the second set, and also is simply wonderful, especially on “Someone to Watch Over Me.” He starts out with a beautiful melody chord rendition, then provides counterpoint to Sayer’s banjo melodic declamation and finally is the sole accompanist to Sayer’s exquisite vocal. Sayer's banjo playing is very solid, both in single note and chordal solos, but it is her voice that makes her a total package.

This release might just be the perfect introduction to the jazz of the twenties and thirties. Sayer lives it, loves it, and is a superb communicator. Highly recommended.
--ALL ABOUT JAZZ, Budd Kopman

CYNTHIA personnel:

Cynthia Sayer - banjo, vocals, arrangements
Dick Wellstood - piano
Bucky Pizzarelli - guitar
Milt Hinton - string bass
Greg Cohen - string bass
Fred Stoll - drums

"Miss Sayer finds lively banjo harmonies and provocative phrasing ... a rare jazz banjoist."

"Sayer is considered to be among a small group at the top of the jazz banjo world."

Versatile Cynthia Sayer picks an expert banjo, strums a steady guitar, and sings with swing and charm. She is one of a kind."

"One of the best jazz banjo players in the world."



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