All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

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 Always Forward CD/LP/Track Review
Always Forward
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 15, 2018
Read The Music of Richard Whiting CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Richard Whiting
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Barefoot Dances and Other Visions CD/LP/Track Review
Barefoot Dances and Other Visions
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Twinscapes Vol. 2: A Modern Approach To The Dancefloor CD/LP/Track Review
Twinscapes Vol. 2: A Modern Approach To The Dancefloor
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Talking with Charlie - An Imaginary Talk with Charlie Parker CD/LP/Track Review
Talking with Charlie - An Imaginary Talk with Charlie Parker
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 15, 2018
Read The Gene Krupa Quartet: Live 1966! CD/LP/Track Review
The Gene Krupa Quartet: Live 1966!
by Richard J Salvucci
Published: November 15, 2018
Read "Necessary Arrangements" CD/LP/Track Review Necessary Arrangements
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 17, 2018
Read "Don't Play With Love" CD/LP/Track Review Don't Play With Love
by Phillip Woolever
Published: May 1, 2018
Read "The Nobuki Takamen Trio" CD/LP/Track Review The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read "Better Than Gold and Silver" CD/LP/Track Review Better Than Gold and Silver
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 11, 2018
Read "When It All Makes Sense" CD/LP/Track Review When It All Makes Sense
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 3, 2018
Read "Never Bet The Devil Your Head" CD/LP/Track Review Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Don Phipps
Published: April 2, 2018