One could argue that there is no better time than now to release this remarkable recording. Sheroes, brought together by pianist/composer Monika Herzig, features an international cast of virtuous players—all women, all first-call talents—including Reut Regev (trombone, Israel), Jennifer Vincent (trumpet, USA), Jamie Baum (flute, USA), Leni Stern (guitar, Germany/US), and drummer Rosa Avila (Mexico). Others,including Jennifer Vincent on bass, Mayra Casales on percussion and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen—round out the theme as well as the serious pedigree. Herzig does much of the writing, but Regev, Baum, and Stern all contribute compositions, alongside a few covers, including“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”and“House oft he Rising Sun.” Together, on this second recording, they are, in the broadest sense, a model of empowerment. As an ensemble, they stand unequivocally as a musical force, with deftness, invention,enthusiasm and ambition. Extraordinary stuff that deserves your attention. March is International Women’s Month!
Whaling City Sound Website WCS106
Publicity: Read the Reporter, ScoopEmpire, The Exponent Telegram, Jazz Journalists Association, Giancarlo Mei, The Daily Progress,LA Jazz Scene, McLean Virginia Patch, O’s Place (see below), All About Jazz CD Review, All About Jazz Interview, Herald Times, Indystar, Downbeat, Era Jazzu, JazzFlits, The Herald-Times, Audiophile Audition, Midwest Book Review, Nuvo,Cision/Casio, The Early Registration JazzWeek
Radio Promotion: New World ‘N Jazz
#31 on the year-end radio charts and so much more!
Mixed Media Client since: 2015
2018’s Wild Bunch: Music Of The Year
Physical CDs are still published, although nowadays methods of fruition of music tend to vanish the idea of a closed project to contain art and creativity. Just like romantic warriors, collectors of vinyls and compact discs continue to believe in an ancient way of producing and transmitting musical projects. And so do I. That’s why every year I put out a list of the most interesting Cds among quality productions in territories like adult contemporary, jazz, fusion and brazilian music.
A wide choice for 2018, fifteen cds, as usual each one included here with audioclip for a pre-listen. Music that really be worth a listen.
My “2018’s Wild Bunch” is all about women and I’d like it could be intended as a signal, a way to propose “women” as a symbol of intelligence and sensitivity, opposed to narrow lines of thinking traced by reactionary and religious governments throughout Islam, USA, Brazil, Italy, etc., etc.
“Music is culture” (música é cultura) was the slogan on the back cover of every published Lp in Brazil, during the horrible period of dictatorship between Sixties to Eighties. This time we could say even better “music is culture and woman is culture”. Listening to the right things could be like a first step of a good revolution. So, up against it!
Giancarlo Mei is an independent journalist and writer, host of radio and author for television. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed books “Canto Latino. Origine, evoluzione e protagonisti della Musica Popolare del Brasile” (Nuovi Equilibri, 2004) and “Spiriti Liberi – L’avventura brasiliana di Flora Purim & Airto Moreira (Arcana Jazz, 2017)
– 2018’s Wild bunch –Monika Herzig – “Sheroes” (Whaling City Sound, WCS106)
A good pianist with an all-female jazz band, eight originals and two covers: a fantastic album. German composer and arranger Monika Herzig create this ensemble to pay tribute to jazz women. An effort turned into a perfect goal putting together talents from all over the world: trombonist Reut Regen from Israel, canadian trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, deutch guitarist Leni Stern, cuban percussionist Mayra Casales and mexican drummer Rosa Avila, bassist Jennifer Vincent and flautist Jamie Baum from the U.S. A such powerful band offers to Herzig’s compositions dense quality and great energy. The language is complex but really exciting; a coral work with musicians always ready to start great solos and sheet music that covers the whole scale of jazz colors and moods. Herzig is a remarkable composer and pages like the “Nancy Wilson Portrait”, and “Time Again, D.B.” are very impressive. Other members contribute with quality creations too, just like it happens with Vincent’s “Song For C.C.” and Baum’s and “Wayning”. A jazzy “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and a soulful cover of The House of The Rising sun, complete this vary and inspiring work. Rich.
*”Time Again, D.B.”: https://www.youtube.
*”Nancy Wilson Portrait”: https://www.
CD Release Events
New York, NY • Wed Apr 4 The 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
to schedule clinics/ concerts
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–