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Virginia Mayhew: No Walls

No Walls is a musically solid outing by New York saxophonist Virginia Mayhew, heard here on tenor and soprano. Pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Harvie Swartz and drummer Allison Miller supply Mayhew and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen with crisp, modern, mainstream rhythm. Barron plays the supporting role masterfully and has some great solos, but his presence is not the only reason this disc succeeds.

Percussionist Adam Cruz, a fine drummer in his own right, proves his worth by adding spice to Miller’s grooves, which unfortunately have some of their flavor leached away by poor recording. Longtime unsung hero Swartz sings on his bass but gets buried in the mix. All is not lost, however: As Ron Carter once said, “That’s what those bass and treble knobs on your stereo are for.”

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