Madame Jazz: Contemporary Women Instrumentalists / Edition 1

Madame Jazz: Contemporary Women Instrumentalists / Edition 1

by Leslie Gourse
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195106474

ISBN-13: 9780195106473

Pub. Date: 05/28/1996

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Nadine Jansen, a flugelhornist and pianist, remembers a night in the 1940s when a man came out of the audience as she was playing both instruments. "I hate to see a woman do that," he explained as he hit the end of her horn, nearly chipping her tooth. Half a century later, a big band named Diva made its debut in New York on March 30, 1993, with Melissa

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Overview

Nadine Jansen, a flugelhornist and pianist, remembers a night in the 1940s when a man came out of the audience as she was playing both instruments. "I hate to see a woman do that," he explained as he hit the end of her horn, nearly chipping her tooth. Half a century later, a big band named Diva made its debut in New York on March 30, 1993, with Melissa Slocum on bass, Sue Terry on alto sax, Lolly Bienenfeld on trombone, Sherrie Maricle on drums, and a host of other first rate instrumentalists. The band made such a good impression that it was immediately booked to play at Carnegie Hall the following year. For those who had yet to notice, Diva signaled the emergence of women musicians as a significant force in jazz.

Madame Jazz is a fascinating invitation to the inside world of women in jazz. Ranging primarily from the late 1970s to today's vanguard of performance jazz in New York City and on the West Coast, it chronicles a crucial time of transition as women make the leap from novelty acts regarded as second class citizens to sought-out professionals admired and hired for their consummate musicianship. Author Leslie Gourse surveys the scene in the jazz clubs, the concert halls, the festivals, and the recording studios from the musicians' point of view. She finds exciting progress on all fronts, but also lingering discrimination. The growing success of women instrumentalists has been a long time in coming, she writes. Long after women became accepted as writers and, to a lesser extent, as visual artists, women in music—classical, pop, or jazz—faced the nearly insuperable barrier of chauvinism and the still insidious force of tradition and habit that keeps most men performing with the musicians they have always worked with, other men.

Gourse provides dozens of captivating no-holds-barred interviews with both rising stars and seasoned veterans. Here are up-and-coming pianists Renee Rosnes and Rachel Z., trumpeter Rebecca Coupe Frank, saxophonist Virginia Mayhew, bassist Tracy Wormworth, and drummer Terri Lynne Carrington, and enduring legends Dorothy Donegan, Marian McParland and Shirley Horne. Here, as well, are conversations with three pioneering business women: agent and producer Helen Keane, manager Linda Goldstein, and festival and concert producer Cobi Narita. All of the women speak insightfully about their inspiration and their commitment to pursuing the music they love. They are also frank about the realities of life on the road, and the extra dues women musicians pay in a tough and competitive field where everybody pays dues. A separate chapter offers a closer look at women musicians and the continual stress confronting those who would combine love, marriage, and/or motherhood with a life in music.

Madame Jazz is about the history that women jazz instrumentalists are making now, as well as an inspiring preview of the even brighter days ahead. It concludes with Frankie Nemko's lively evaluation of the West Coast jazz scene, and appends the most comprehensive list ever assembled of women currently playing instruments professionally.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195106473
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
05/28/1996
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.36(w) x 7.86(h) x 0.55(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Diva3
Ch. 1A Status Report on the Contemporary Scene: Part One7
Ch. 2A Status Report: Part Two13
Ch. 3Remembrance of Things Passe: Jill McManus Recalls the Frustrations of the Jazz Sisters in the 1970s24
Ch. 4Several Successful Contemporary Young Women Musicians Talk About Their Inspiration and Commitment33
Ch. 5Pianists Renee Rosnes and Rachel Z, Rising to the Top in the 1990s, Ruminate About Their Worlds43
Ch. 6A View from the Business Women48
Ch. 7The Instrument Is the Image66
Ch. 8Kit McClure, Big-Band Leader: "You Did the Right Thing"75
Ch. 9Tracy Wormworth, Bassist: "Doors Just Opened"87
Ch. 10Emily Remler and the Guitarists92
Ch. 11Focusing on Trumpeter Rebecca Coupe Franks, Alto Saxophonists Virginia Mayhew, Carol Chaikin, and Sue Terry, French Horn Player Stephanie Fauber, Oboist Kathy Halvorson, and Saxophonists Laura Dreyer and Paula Atherton99
Ch. 12Trumpeters Laurie Frink and Stacy Rowles106
Ch. 13Flautists Elise Wood and Ali Ryerson114
Ch. 14Carol Sudhalter, A Role Model117
Ch. 15Jane Ira Bloom, Soprano Saxophonist and Experimentalist124
Ch. 16Terri Lyne Carrington131
Ch. 17Cindy Blackman and Sylvia Cuenca136
Ch. 18Percussionist Carol Steele143
Ch. 19Individualists150
Ch. 20Shirley Horn: "I Got Older and Bolder"173
Ch. 21Joanne Brackeen Lives and Plays Without Any Dos and Don'ts178
Ch. 22The Wily Miss Dorothy Donegan, Mistress of Fiery Medleys183
Ch. 23Marian McPartland: " . . . Something You Really Need in Life, Someone to Encourage You"190
Ch. 24A Few Words About Love, Marriage, and Motherhood201
A View from the West Coast208
Appendix: Women Instrumentalists Active in the 1980s and Early 1990s211
Bibliography265
Index267

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