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!