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Sax in the City with Laura Dryer and Friends by Laura Dryer

Well, I was invited to go to a concert at Birdland on 44th Street in Manhattan to a group of jazz female saxophone performers plus guitars and piano which was a celebration of their release of their new album, Sax in the City.

Wow, what a celebration of women in jazz, there were two guitar performers, pianists, alto, soprano, tenor, baritone saxophone performers. There names are: Laura Dreyer, Deanna Witkowki, Sue Terry, Sarah Jane Cion, Virginia Mayhew, Jane Getter, Cecilla Tenconi, Ada Rovatti, Sheryl Bailey Jenny Hill and Kerry Politzer. They all performed separately and together in a large group. I could say so much about the concert and these women, but let me try to keep it short and get my point across women in the performing arts as creative artists too.

So, each had a special character and the shame of it all is that one could only get the flavor of their ability because of limited time to listen to them and the venue was a little stiff because they were all performing with the same rhythm section. I thought the drummer was just too powerful and setting the style too much for the group. All though some of the performers fit in with the drums very well others not so well.

This is what makes performing so difficult is the individual expression with in the jazz style that the musicians are allowed to influence the performance to a great degree. Let us get off this subject because we want to celebrate these women.

In my opinion Ella Fitzgerald was probably the all time great jazz musician of all time. They talk about her a lot but I never hear people say too much of her influence in jazz and her creative output was so original and so above everybody else.

I worked for her for two weeks in Toronto at the Royal York Hotel and what I noticed about her was how humble she was and how respectful she was to her musicians. Anyway, a great woman in jazz Ella was if there ever was one and maybe the most important jazz musician of all time too.

Back to the females at Birdland, well, those girls really are something else putting all that work into their music. I am so proud of them. I wish I could have told them what great women and artists they are. I am trying to do that now in with my newsletter of course.

They all are very special people and extremely courageous as far as I am concerned. Going home on the subway I was thinking and noticed that these women who performed today were extremely gifted and deserve so much attention from society. But we know how difficult that is; it seems that the lower class figures get more attention (pop singers). Anyway, I just want all of my readers to know my feeling after watching everyone perform today and thinking about the music, performance, style and solos.

They all deserve a wonderful life, lots of love and lots of money. When I was learning music these jazz ladies were not there as far as I knew. We had one female saxophone in the Lab Bands at North Texas back in 65-66 and she was just a reader not a soloist like the performers today. Now any of these girls could perform in the one o'clock band and perform great jazz solos with the jazz band.

Music in jazz certainly has changed since I started out in music after my education at University of North Texas and Chicago Conservatory in Chicago. I won the mid-west jazz festival back then for outstanding woodwind performer in Jazz. Now if I had to do that again I would have to compete with some of these women and believe me I might not win.

My friend Sarah Jane Cion, a greatly gifted composer and pianist artist invited me to this concert and I want to thank her for opening up my eyes to the new area of women in jazz. I would be proud to perform with any of these women.

My point is there are so many people who deserve respect in life and money too that do not get it. Support creative artists, for they enrich our lives like nothing else does in life. My yoga teacher said that art is the only real purpose in life all else falls into the river of nothingness.

My point is support creative women in the arts or any artist who tries to bring the dignity of life to the world.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Laura Dryer
  • CD Title: Sax in the City with Laura Dryer and Friends
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Apria Records
  • Musicians: Laura Dreyer, Deanna Witkowki, Sue Terry, Sarah Jane Cion, Virginia Mayhew, Jane Getter, Cecilla Tenconi, Ada Rovatti, Sheryl Bailey Jenny Hill and Kerry Politzer
  • Rating: Five Stars
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