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Perpetually Hip

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Album Review

For the uninitiated, it's understandable to assume that the artists on Steve Vai's record label, Favored Nations, must be from the same hard-rocking, six-string shredding variety. But this is certainly not the case, as evidenced by the 2006 double-disc release by Mimi Fox, Perpetually Hip. A Bay Area-based guitarist, Fox is a jazz guitarist through and through — and not fusion, either, as her main influences include such jazz greats as Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, and Grant Green. On Perpetually Hip, Fox follows a guideline for each disc — the first sees Fox playing alongside a trio of New York musicians (pianist Xavier Davis, bassist Harvie S., and drummer Billy Hart), as the quartet mixes a few Fox originals with covers. The second disc, on the other hand, is solo, and comprised solely of interpretations of jazz standards. No flashy tricks here, just fantastically clean jazz playing, as evidenced by such disc one standouts as the album-opening title track and "While Bangkok Sleeps," as well such disc two highlights as Duke Ellington's "Caravan" and George Gershwin's "Someone to Watch Over Me." The respected jazz publication Down Beat has been praising Fox's talents for years now (named "Rising Star" for three consecutive years), and it all comes together for the guitarist on Perpetually Hip.


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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Perpetually Hip, Mimi Fox
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