All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Monika Herzig: Sheroes

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist and composer Monika Herzig pays tribute to women in jazz, on her captivating Sheroes. The artistically superlative, all-female band explores various cadences, harmonies and moods on this exquisite album, all the while deftly maintaining thematic unity.

Eight of the tracks are originals by ensemble members, and two are Herzig-arranged covers. These are the traditional "House of the Rising Sun" and singer-songwriter Valerie Simpson's (of Ashford/Simpson fame) classic "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."

The latter opens with Herzig's resonant, acerbic keys setting the soulful ambience, and features guitarist Leni Stern and her wailing, blistering lines. In addition to Stern's fiery performance, bassist Jennifer Vincent expresses herself with agile eloquence. The excitement and passion come to a head with thunderous exchanges between drummer Rosa Avila and percussionist Mayra Casales.

Vincent's own complex, boppish "Song for CC" highlights another synergistic duo, flautist Jamie Baum and trombonist Reut Regev. Baum and Regev play the intricate melody with lithe sophistication. As they take their turn in the spotlight, their overlapping soliloquies are delightfully divergent yet refreshingly collaborative. Vincent, Avila and Casales create the expectant and darkly-hued rhythmic bridge to Herzig's expressive and angular extemporization.

Herzig's romantic and tender "Nancy Wilson Portrait" opens with trumpeter Ingrid Jensen's warm, bluesy phrases undulating in an intimate atmosphere. Jensen stretches out, embellishing the tune with grace and elegance, while Herzig's dense chords, Avila's soft brushes and Vincent's reverberating strings provide a supportive framework. Herzig follows with a superbly lyrical and subtly virtuosic solo that brims with creative spontaneity.

In contrast, the leader's funky "Just Another Day at the Office," is full of urbane energy and muscular swagger. Tenor saxophonist Ada Rovatti blows with a full-bodied tone, playing an intelligent and stimulating improvisation over the group's percolating vamps.

This engaging and charismatic record closes with Regev's "You Are a Superstar," an eastern-flavored and crystalline piece that is musically intriguing and includes affirmative spoken words.

This uniquely inventive work, released during Women's History Month 2018, is Herzig's best to date. It not only highlights the immense talent and high-quality musicianship of those involved in the project but, perhaps more importantly, flies in the face of gender bias and sexist attitudes in jazz and beyond. For all these reasons and more, Sheroes is an instant classic that will definitely withstand the test of time.

Track Listing: Time Again, D.B.; Bubbles; Ain't No Mountain High Enough; Nancy Wilson Portrait; Song For C.C.; Just Another Day At The Office; The House Of The Rising Sun; Wayning; Cantos; I Am A Superstar.

Personnel: Monika Herzig: piano, composer/arranger; Ingrid Jensen: trumpet; Jennifer Vincent: bass; Ada Rovatti: tenor saxophone; Jamie Baum: flute; Reut Regev: trombone; Leni Stern: guitar; Mayra Casales: percussion; Rosa Avila: drums.

Title: Sheroes | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Whaling City Sound

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Sheroes

Sheroes

Whaling City Sound
2018

buy
Come With Me

Come With Me

Owl Studios
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Super Mood CD/LP/Track Review
Super Mood
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Beheaded Totem CD/LP/Track Review
Beheaded Totem
by James Fleming
Published: September 24, 2018
Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read "Out Of Silence" CD/LP/Track Review Out Of Silence
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Tradition" CD/LP/Track Review Tradition
by Chris May
Published: June 20, 2018
Read "Kinship" CD/LP/Track Review Kinship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2018
Read "Blue Maqams" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Maqams
by John Kelman
Published: October 13, 2017
Read "The Ultimate Experience" CD/LP/Track Review The Ultimate Experience
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 10, 2017
Read "Three Pictures" CD/LP/Track Review Three Pictures
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 23, 2018