The genre of jazz covers a lot of different music and styles. Since the first ‘jazz’ recording in 1917, many different musicians and artists and composers contributed to the immense historical catalog of jazz. Jazz can be defined with countless adjectives, many of which may contradict themselves, but one characteristic that is fairly consistent is the fact that the vast majority of jazz musicians have been men. For a music that is a ‘sonic democracy’, a large contingent of the human population has not been involved.
Thankfully that is changing!
Monika Herzig’s new album Eternal Dance is everything you expect from a jazz album released in 2020. Great arranging, beautiful tune writing, diverse sources of tunes, and stellar playing. The only thing that is unexpected, and one would only figure this out by reading the liner notes (or looking at the picture above), is that the band is an all woman band! And why not? Nobody has questioned or thought twice about bands being made up of all men, right? Suddenly after hearing this band, whatever you thought ‘jazz playing women’ sounded like, if you had any pre-conceived notion at all, goes out the window!
This band rocks!
Monika Herzig, piano
Jamie Baum, flute
Reut Regev, trombone (& vocal track 10)
Jennifer Vincent, bass
Rosa Avila, drums
Lakecia Benjamin, alto sax (tracks 1 & 5)
Leni Stern, guitar (tracks 1, 2, 4, 8 – 10)
Akua Dixon, cello (tracks 3, 6 & 12)
Mayra Casales, percussion (tracks 2 & 4)