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She's the Woman

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Album Review

Named a "rising star" in Down Beat's 2003 Critics Poll not long after being profiled in the magazine's feature "66 Hot 6 Stringers," Mimi Fox takes her best jab at transcending the status of up-and-comer on this tight and swinging, supremely melodic, yet wildly improvisational modern bop date. Lest listeners forget the vibe she's aiming for, the San Francisco-based guitar goddess starts from the gate with a furious flurry of electricity on the speedy intro tune, "East Coast Attitude." Jazz fans who prefer finesse and cool over frenetic chops will enjoy the more subtle rhythms and lush melody of the Caribbean-flavored "Sosua," which was inspired by some impromptu jamming with street musicians in the Dominican Republic. The most appealing aspect of the disc is her eclectic stylistic approach, which ranges from the seductive soul of "Buddy's Blues" to the graceful contemplation of "Raquel, Mi Amor" and the tender solo exercise "Darn That Dream." She swings back up for the strutting vibe of "On the Sunny Side of the Street" before closing with a jazz-rock arrangement of the Beatles' "She's a Woman," essentially a bouncy duet between Fox and bassist/clapper Jon Evans. That song inspired the album's title, but on a deeper level, it's a declaration that when it comes to great new females in jazz, Fox is clearly at the top of a short list.


Born: 1956 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Mimi "Fast Fingers" Fox is one of the very few established female jazz guitarists (along with Emily Remler and Mary Osborne), her passion and technical excellence gracing the albums and performances of Darol Anger, Rhiannon, and Terry Garthwaite. Primarily self-taught, Fox focused early on folk styles until she heard John Coltrane's seminal Giant Steps at age 14. Fox's early influences -- Aretha Franklin, Dixieland, and traditional jazz -- emerge in her evocative interpretations of jazz with swing...
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She's the Woman, Mimi Fox
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