|Extract from a Mozart String Quartet|
- highlighting the Viola's rôle.
|Mozart (1756 - 1791)|
She is so energetic in her playing and her thinking. One of my regular correspondents - Lou in the USA - has twice sent me emails in praise of Shaye; and they are worth quoting:
I marvel at her stamina in numbers like 'Weary Blues'. She just blows her heart out, all in such a matter of fact way.
I think Lou is absolutely right.
Shaye produces a unique tone that perfectly encapsulates the blues feeling that is at the heart of so much of our music. Listen closely to her busy fluent phrases, often muted and in the background, interwoven brilliantly into the polyphony of her band's wonderful music. That's why I am reminded of the viola in Mozart's string quartets.
Shaye has an instinctive understanding of rhythmic possibilities, subtle and surprising harmonies and progressions, even when improvising at high speed. She can 'bend' notes to great effect and in exactly the right places.
She always works hard to encourage great teamwork from the band, not just to display her own skills. Her playing takes account of (and usually directs) all that is going on around her.
Bearing in mind that she is not only brilliant on the cornet but is also one of the very best on the piano and violin (and is an arranger and a formidable composer - just think of Pyramid Strut and Tangled Blues, for example), I have to say I have not come across a traditional jazz musician who impresses me more than Shaye. She is simply the best.