New Sheryl Bailey on the Way

The video is a little rough, but NY-based Sheryl Bailey really kills it on this rendition of Gershwin’s “The Man I Love.” Single note lines, chord soloing, dissonant altered tones — it’s pretty much all there in her astonishingly well-crafted solo. Sheryl has a new organ trio album due out New Years Day. I’ve had her big band album A New Promise in pretty consistent rotation since it came out in 2011, and I’m looking forward to the new small combo LP. Bailey is adept in a variety of band formats, while also being a prolific writer/composer. Her instructional material on TrueFire is also worth checking out.

The jazz guitar scene (in keeping with the broader guitar scene) isn’t exactly known for gender balance. That said, beginning with Emily Remler in the 1980s, women have represented some of the more notable and forward-looking jazz pickers. Sheryl is certainly one example, profiled as a “Rising Star” in Downbeat’s 2013 Critics Poll. Avant gard-ist Mary Halvorson (also featured in the Critics Poll) continues to enjoy a great deal of critical acclaim for her chops and abstract compositional approach. And don’t forget Mimi Fox, one of my favorite latter-day purveyors of straight-ahead jazz guitar — whether leading a combo or carrying on Joe Pass’s legacy in solo settings.

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