THIS MONTH, WE FEATURE TWO IMPORTANT WOMAN IN JAZZ.
ANAT COHEN IS ONE OF TODAY’S BEST CLARINET AND TENOR PLAYERS,
WHILE LAURIE PEPPER WORKS OVERTIME KEEPING THE FLAME OF HER LATE HUSBAND ART PEPPER ALIVE.
CHECK THEM OUT IN THE INTERVIEW SECTION
Match the artists below with their scheduled
shows on the left!
Check out this disc by Carolyn Fitzhugh, who deftly mixes a gospel feel with modern jazz.
See my review at http://www.jazzweekly.com/2017/07/carolyn-fitzhugh-simply-amazing/
But judge it for yourselves. You won’t be disappointed
Contrary to popular opinion, the Bible is a book that gives much liberation to women. Throughout history, up to the present time, women have been treated as the inferior sex. Some of the dirty secrets of Darwinism is his belief that “males are more evolutionarily advanced than females.” The “enlightened” Rousseau called women “naturally insufficient” Then, there is Nietzsche, with his comments like “everything about woman has one solution…it’s called pregnancy.”
Contrarily, the Bible portrays the role of women in society very differently. Adam calls her “my helpmate,” and “bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.” She is not inferior to Adam, but a complement, and vice versa. Let’s not forget that Israel had Deborah as the leader of her country, and Golda Meir wasn’t exactly a slacker in the 20th Century.
And, while critics claim that the Bible subjugates women, the fact is that it went against the grain in treatment of women. Sure, people have mis-interpreted the Bible to “put women in their place,” but places where it says for women to submit to men also tell men to die for their wives, so the sacrifice is reciprocating. Preachers like Apollos had no problem taking advice from ladies like Priscilla and Aquila, and Jesus himself not only befriended women (some in ill repute) but put them in charge of collecting money to support his ministry. Roles and ministries does not relate to importance or value.
Last but not least, there is the statement “there is neither male nor female” in Christ, meaning that we all have equal status. In the book of Proverbs, a woman is praised for her industry, as “she sees a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard.” She’s a realtor and farmer!
So, after this Sunday School lesson, what does this have to do with jazz? LOTS!
Laurie Pepper was Art Pepper’s wife, and it was definitely “for better and for worse.” In the interview, she discusses how she supported him during his years as a drug addict, how she toured with him after he got out of jail, how she helped him with his classic memoir, and how she keeps his music alive by issuing and re-issuing valuable music from various stages of the famous alto saxist’s career.
Anat Cohen, Israeli born and bred, grew up in a country where she served in the military before coming to America to delve more deeply into the jazz scene. She has been the leader of many types of combos, and has even shared the billing with her two musician brothers. She is one of the most important voices on the clarinet and saxophone, and not because she’s a woman, but because she is one of the best.
Just a few decades ago, women in jazz were usually only associated with vocals. Once in a blue moon there would be a female artist, but usually in the context of an “All Girl Band” like Diva or Sweet Sue and her Society Syncopaters from Some Like It Hot. Amazingly, some jazz traditionalists even claim that female musicians “sound different” when they play, but always fail the famous Blindfold Tests.
This is what is great about jazz; it’s completely based on merit. You cannot tell by how they play if they are black, white, Hispanic, Asian, male or female. Artists like Maria Schneider, Toshiko Akiyoshi or Carla Bley are beyond novelty; they are simply amazing composers and arrangers. Jane Ira Bloom has a sui generis approach to the soprano sax and Anat Cohen herself is adept at not only straightahead jazz but Brazilian music as well. Go figure!
Yes, in many ways it’s a “man’s world.” But I still remember a conversation I had with a friend. I asked him if he believed in equality between the sexes. He just answered, “No. We men will never catch up.”
Music, like truth devotion to God, is the great leveler. Enjoy the equal opportunities they both present.
KEEP WRITING US. HERE ARE SOME RECENT COMMUNICATIONS…
Thank you for your review of “The Passion Of Charlie Parker”. However, I must tell you that in specifying the use of tenor sax instead of alto sax as the major problem, you are just about completely missing the point of the project. This is not a tribute album. There have been more than enough tributes to Bird. There have also been more than enough albums of his songs with people trying to emulate him stylistically. This is an examination of him as a amazing and tragic archetypal figure, thus the use of the term “passion” to describe impressionistic “play” of his life. Whether we are discussing Bird, Van Gogh, Jimi Hendrix, or Hank Williams, there is a common thread among innovators who are candles burning too brightly. The artist ahead of his time has a heavy load to bear, whether he is painting with words, oil paints or music. The use of tenor sax was purposeful, so as not to play the game of emulating Bird, which is a rather trivial pursuit, and which he would laugh at were he still alive. The one thing that he would not be doing if he was still with us would be to play like he used to play. He was a far too restless force, and already tiring of what bebop had become by the time of his death.
Again, thank you for taking the time to review the album, but I think that if you go back and listen again, and specifically to the words that David Baerwald and I put to this music, you will find that there is much more there than you initially saw.
Just wanted to thank you so much for the wonderful interview/article. And it was so great chatting with you, as well…. thanks for an all around enjoyable experience!
Hope you are well. I just read your telephone interview with Nicolas Meier – very interesting! Nicolas and I have been good friends since he moved to the UK about 20 years ago – we also live very close to each other so we see each other frequently.
I think his latest album is his best to date – having Jimmy and Vinnie on it is awesome!
Also, I wanted to take the opportunity to see if you received my album ‘The Time Thief’ Redtenbacher’s Funkestra. I know you are very busy – just wanted to check that it actually has arrived for whenever you might have some time for it.
Thank you very much.
I’ve been enjoying your articles – as well as your support – and am wondering where you are based?
Thank you very very much for your review. I’m very happy that you enjoyed the music and the review is really nice and original. once more you showed a great attention to the music and I’m so grateful for that.
Let’s keep in touch and ALL THE BEST from Italy.
Mr. Gadd, you are a he’ll of a drummer. I listen to you when you where playing with, Grover Washington Jr. It’s so good to see that you are still playing!
I guess my Label sent you the CD. I would like to thank you for taking the time to listen to my music.The word you used really resonate with the way I perceive my music.
Thank you very much.Take Care
Funny enough after I was summarily fired from Verve Records back in ’97 I cooled my heels to get away from it all and moved to Sherman, CT. The real estate broker told me, ‘do you know Tommy Lipuma?” He’s your next door neighbor!” It was the house + barn where he recorded “Unforgettable.” Tommy had not taken over at Verve for another couple years and we somehow lived in peace, as he heard me in the distance banging my drums and driving my Ferrari at top speed (very loudly) on our rural roads in horse country. Super nice man. Love him. We even had Llamas next door too.
Thanks for the article,
I tuned in here to your writing to read a review of my latest disc, but instead I found an article on giving thanks, faith, and perspective. I been struggling in near every area of my life for nearly a decade. In my tight little family I faced cancer, drugs, lost faith, Alzheimer’s, and the prospect of supporting us on a musicians wages. I have been overwhelmed with my loss and how complete it seemed. Someone can say right thing to you at the right time and suddenly your life can seem so much better. Thank you for the article.
You inspired me to write the Thanksgiving Song !
Very good article, thanks
Dear Jazz Weekly,
I ran into your 2014 interview with Larry Carlton. I’ve been a Steely Dan fan for 35 years but never knew anything about Larry. I loved hearing that Larry is a man of faith, even after the gun shot incident. Thanks!
Really great work, George. That was one heck of a conversation with Kirk Whalum!
Peace, Love and Joy,
thanks again for this great review!
Great article. Thanks. I’Il share with the boys!
Philippe Saisse (Al Di Meola Band)