Cynthia Sayer, regarded as one of the top 4-string banjoists in the world today, is proud to release her first album in 5 years: JOYRIDE. A founding member of Woody Allen's jazz band, Cynthia's solo career has taken her well beyond these New Orleans roots to become an internationally acclaimed artist. Fretboard Journal, who featured a pre-release track from JOYRIDE on their website, describes Sayer as "pushing the four-string banjo into new, uncharted territory."
JOYRIDE features Charlie Giordano of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band on accordion as well as Mauro Battisti on bass, Larry Eagle (who performed with Springsteen's "Seeger Sessions Band") on percussion and additional musicians contributing violin, guitar, tuba, trumpet, clarinet and more. The thirteen tracks on Joyride were produced and arranged by Sayer and include two originals as well as early jazz and country classics plus favorites from the Great American Songbook.
Inspiration for Joyride came from Sayer's unlikely 2011 introduction to Giordano at Brooklyn's Jalopy Theatre. "Larry Eagle introduced me to this fantastic accordion player, but I had no idea of his background at first," remembers Sayer. "When he sat in with my band I immediately knew I wanted to record an album with him. The banjo-accordion sound is incredibly cool, and our styles struck me as a perfect fit."
The album opener, Sayer's "Banjo Blues," is a cheeky rebuke to banjo stereotypes and sets the tone for the set, showcasing Sayer's singular & striking arrangements. Song selections cover a wide range of styles,
genres and musical eras, highlighting the unexpected versatility of the 4-string banjo.
"Sayer’s singing is as nuanced as her banjo playing, with a bright, lively vigor that makes Joyride sparkle with energy."
-- DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE
Selected as "NOTABLE INSTRUMENTAL JAZZ RELEASE"
-- Jazz Journalist Association, W. Royal Stokes
"Breaking the mold is New Jersey-born Cynthia Sayer who plays hot, swinging jazz on the plectrum banjo and performed with Woody Allen's band."
-- PBS ARTS
"Jazz just doesn't sound the way it used to. Cynthia is out to reclaim the banjo's place in the genre."
-- SOUNDCHECK, WNYC National Public Radio
“World-class level Sayer and her 4-stringed buddy are no novelty. She's the real deal and this recording reinforces that standing.”
-- All About Jazz, Nick Mondello