By J.D. Considine

Friday, May 12, 2006, Page R29

Perpetually Hip
Mimi Fox
Favored Nations


On her ambitious seventh album, guitarist Fox manages to show her strengths in two formats, working with a rhythm section on the first half of this double-CD, and performing solo on the second. Although clearly indebted to the great Joe Pass, Fox is very much her own woman, with a distinctive tone -- crisp and trebly enough to minimize the difference between her electric and her acoustic -- and a wonderfully idiosyncratic approach to standards. Her interplay with drummer Billy Hart on The Song Is You is a masterpiece of phrasing and rhythmic tension, while her unexpectedly dissonant solo version of Caravan makes the old chestnut seem new again. Perpetually astonishing.

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