As the title may tell, here’s yet another collection of Beatles tunes – this one entirely from Sgt. Pepper – done mostly in the form of jazz instrumentals. The trio is Mimi Fox on guitar, Mads Tolling on violin, and Jeff Denson on double bass (along with vocals on three tracks), and it soars thanks to skillful musicianship.
Fox is a world-class jazz guitarist and supplies tons of support via strong comping, especially on “With A Little Help From My Friends.” Her soloing on “Getting Better” highlights a nifty arrangement that jazzes up the original. And her lovely chord melody work on “She’s Leaving Home” captures the melancholy of the original lyric without any vocals needed.
Tolling is brilliant throughout. His violin work is playful, moody, and daring on songs that could easily be hamstrung by their familiar melodies. Denson is strong on the bass, propelling the tunes perfectly for a string-trio setting.
All three of these players have worked on great records before, but this band debut points to many more for the San Francisco String Trio.
This article originally appeared in VG January 2018 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.