Madame Jazz

Madame Jazz : Contemporary Women Instrumentalists

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Ranging primarily from the late 1970s to today's vanguard of performance jazz in the USA, this work chronicles a crucial time of transition as female jazz musicians make the leap from novelty acts to sought-out professionals admired and hired for their consummate musicianship. The author 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. Long after women became accepted as writers and, to a lesser extent, visual artists, women in music faced the barrier of chauvinism and the force of tradition and habit that keeps most men performing with the musicians they have always worked with - other men. Gourse provides interviews with both rising stars and seasoned veterans, including 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 Horn. All of the women speak 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. 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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 154.94 x 236.22 x 30.48mm | 680.39g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • halftones
  • 0195086961
  • 9780195086966

About Leslie Gourse

About the Author: Leslie Gourse is a freelance writer whose books on jazz includeSassy: The Life of Sarah Vaughan, Unforgettable: The Life and Mystique of Nat King Cole, and Louis's Children, an acclaimed history of jazz singing. In 1991, she received an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for a series of articles on women instrumentalists.
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