As promised Friday, another in an admittedly small circle of female jazz artists who play an instrument. It has long blown my mind how few women there are in jazz or rock for that matter who are more known for their instrumental skills than their vocal skills.
When I want to feature a female jazz singer I have so many to choose from, when I try to feature a woman instrumentalist I can practically count them on my fingers.
Jazz has become a somewhat neglected art form. There aren’t the clubs, the days of the major labels are in the past. Hell many of my favorite artists are long dead.
Artists play house concerts and self distribute their recordings.
This is a form of music that is uniquely American. It grew up in New Orleans, it grew out of the Blues and so many other uniquely American influences.
It was nurtured in Harlem, Chicago, St Louis Los Angeles and all the cities from the east coast to the west coast.
While it is thought of as a Black form of music there were integrated bands having to deal with Jim Crow laws years before say professional base ball was integrated.
Jessica is still around just like Carla Bley, who I featured a couple of weeks ago.
I want people to listen to this music. If you don’t understand it get the Ken Burns series and listen to Wynton Marsalis explain its origins and development.