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CD Release Events
New York, NY • Wed Apr 4The New School in the Jazz Performance Space, Arnhold Hall, 55 West 13th Street, 5th Floor. Panel discussion with SHEROES from 4:30 – 5:30. Concert 6:00 – 7:00. Free event but seating is limited, first come first served.
Newark, NJ • Thu Apr 5 Roundtable Presentation on Experiencing Chick Corea: A Listener’s Companion Rutgers University 7-9pm
Baltimore, MD • Fri Apr 6 SHEROES CD release An Die Musik live 409 North Charles Street Second Floor 6pm
Cleveland, OH • Sun Apr 8 SHEROES CD release Nighttown 7pm
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Endorsements: Casio Keyboards
June 10 2016
“The Whole World in Her Hands”
Radio Promotion:New World ‘N Jazz, Peaked at #20, on chart for 16 weeks
The new album of pianist and composer Monika Herzig for the Whaling City Sound label is a logical continuation of not only her previous work The Whole World in Her Hands (2016), but also the whole creation of this German-born Germany. Monica is making great efforts to expand the presence of women in instrumental jazz, which in this case is emphasized even by the name of the album for which she invented the punky neologism of Sheroes – a combination of the concepts she (she) and heroes (heroes). Thus, the title of the project can be read as “Heroines”.
Who are they, these heroines? As part of the ensemble of Monica, with whom she tours, with which she recorded Sheroes, you can see many participants and the aforementioned previous project. This is the guitarist Leni Stern, the German, like Herzig, and the American Jennifer Vincent, who has postponed the cello and acts only as a bass player, and the Israeli trombone player Reut Regev, and the famous American flutist Jamie Baum, and the percussionist with the Cuban roots of Myra Casales. There are also impressive new faces: a very creative performer on the pipe Ingrid Jensen from Canada, Mexican drummer Rosa Avila, Italian tenor saxophonist Ada Rovatti. All of them are purely geographically united by the presence on the jazz scene of the world capital of this music – New York. And the principle of composing an album, which included plays not only of Herzig herself, but her colleagues,
Herzig herself is represented here by four compositions and two arrangements, including the well-known theme House of the Rising Sun. The most interesting of them seemed to me the starting Time Again, DB, dedicated to the late teacher Monica David Baker, and filled with Caribbean intonations Cantos, writing which Herzig thought of the melodism peculiar to such an outstanding jazz pianist as Chick Corea. Jamie Baum dedicated her composition to another giant of modern jazz – Wayne Shorter, she is called: Waining. Leni Stern once had occasion to encounter African music, where the appropriate intonations in her play Bubbles came from. The drama of the plot of the song Vincent Song For CC is broadcasted by the music of this play.
Even on this short list, you can judge the musical diversity of the album. Add to this the high performance class, lots of bright solos and duets, the general spirit of creativity that reigns in the album – and you will understand that this work is worth listening to. Of course, the final statement of I Am A Superstar is somewhat ironic. But the fact that all the participants of the project headed by Monika Herzig are genuine Sheroes of modern jazz, I do not personally change myself!
Also highly recommended for jazz connoisseurs is the album “Swing That Music!” ($14.99, in which vocalist/soprano sax player Danny Bacher and associates pay tribute to the legendary jazz greats Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima, and Louis Jordan, with vibrant performances of some of their most widely beloved songs.
CD ReviewByNorman Vickers_______________________Monika Herzig:The Whole World In Her HandsWhaling City SoundRelease Date: June 10, 2016Monika Herzig is a performing pianist, educator and author. She has assembled a group of talented women musicians to perform on this recording. She brings guitarist Leni Stern (Germany/NYC), percussionist Mayra Casales (Cuba), Flutist/saxophonist Jane Bunnett (Canada), saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin( USA/NYC) and bassists Linda Oh (Malaysia/Australia) Anna Butterss(Australia) and cellist Jennifer Vincent(USA) and uses them in varying combinations. Ms. Herzig plays piano on all twelve tracks.There ís plenty of excellent piano on this recording but it ís the ensemble which is featured.One possible drawback for the average listener is that all twelve pieces are new except for a reworking of “The Whole World in Her Hands” (Get it?) It ís challenging to the average jazz listener to listen to new compositions. Ms. Herzig plays on all numbers but she assembles groups in varying combinations. One of my favorite cuts is “Peaceful Piece” featuring piano, bass, flute, alto sax and trombone. There ís much here to appreciate as Ms. Herzig has put the ensembles together with thoughtfulness. So, give this one a listen and stretch your “ears.”This was recorded at New York’s Avatar Studio May and August 2014 and produced by Suzi Reynolds. Ms. Reynolds spent a few years in Pensacola before launching her successful career as producer in New York. I’m pleased to see and hear this latest triumph from a longtime friend.–End–