Cynthia Sayer Appears on NPR's “Piano Jazz” and Voice of America 'Music Beat'
Cynthia Sayer, the internationally celebrated banjo player and vocalist praised for her "drive and virtuosity" by the New York Times and 10+ years performing in Woody Allen's New Orleans jazz band, has confirmed the release of JOYRIDE, her first album in five years. Fretboard Journal describes the album as "pushing the four-string banjo into new, uncharted territory." Downbeat Magazine says "Sayer's singing is as nuanced as her banjo playing, [which] makes Joyride sparkle with energy."
Inspiration for the groundbreaking project came from Sayer's unlikely 2011 introduction to featured accordionist Charlie Giordano, a member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. "When I met Charlie," Sayer recalls, "our styles struck me as a perfect fit. The banjo-accordion sound is incredibly cool." Sayer's singular & striking arrangements show off the rest of her top-tier personnel. Tracks include two originals, jazz standards, tango, blues, roots, and favorites from the Great American Songbook.
The album opener, Sayer's "Banjo Blues," is a cheeky rebuke to banjo stereotypes and sets the tone for the album. Song selections cover a wide range of jazz styles and musical eras, all delivered with an unmistakably current sensibility. Cynthia single-handedly connects us to the unexpected versatility and power of the 4-string banjo.