Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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Preface

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p. ix

We know almost all of the subjects as people, and appreciate how Wayne and Janis managed to reach even the most private of them. Their conversations range far beyond the biographical—to their feelings, motivations, musical approaches, and attitudes. These women...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

To succeed, jazz bands depend on a cooperative spirit dedicated to a common vision. A similar sense of community underscored the realization of this book, as a constellation of colleagues, associates, friends, and family members have shored and shepherded us over the...

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Introduction

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pp. xiii-xvi

I walked across the darkened room to the table where Dorothy Donegan was seated and made my request. It was then that she put that question to me—a question, I must admit, that disconcerted me because of the endearing, almost plaintive way this diminutive...

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Notes on the Selected Discographies

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p. xvii

The discography of recommended listening that follows each chapter reflects the authors’ judgments as to which recordings by each featured musician best meet three criteria: they are musically excellent (excluded recordings should not necessarily be construed as weaker...

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Jane Ira Bloom

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pp. 1-15

Soprano saxophonist and composer Jane Ira Bloom has received international recognition for her novel explorations of sound as affected by motion and space. Whether she is swinging her own instrument in wide arcs or writing compositions that have...

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JoAnne Brackeen

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pp. 17-30

The only woman to hold a chair in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, pianist/composer JoAnne Brackeen played with that most imitated of all combos from 1969 to 1971. Music critic Leonard Feather predicted that Brackeen’s postbop playing would be as important to the 1980s as Bill Evans’s and Herbie...

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Clora Bryant

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pp. 33-46

Criminally unsung, the name of pioneering trumpet player Clora Bryant does not appear in many of the popular guides to jazz. Nevertheless, this ardent student of Dizzy Gillespie, and an accomplished musician in her own right, has been among a handful of pathfinders for future generations...

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Terri Lyne Carrington

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pp. 49-62

Born in Medford, Massachusetts, in 1965, Carrington was seven when she first picked up the drumsticks. Studying with esteemed drummer and master teacher Alan Dawson, she improved so quickly that she soon was sitting in and jamming at Boston area jazz clubs. This sensational young...

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Regina Carter

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pp. 65-79

A fiddler who can make her four strings sing, swing, and cry the blues, Regina Carter is the most significant violinist to emerge on the jazz scene in decades. Powered by major-label marketing muscle, this five-foot-tall Detroit native has created her niche playing improvised music on an instrument...

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Marilyn Crispell

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pp. 81-95

Marilyn Crispell has been visible as an important pianist since 1983 when she began a decade-long association with saxophonist Anthony Braxton. Originally pigeon-holed within the fold of so-called free players, a longer view of her work reveals a style that defies strict categorization. Career highlights...

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Barbara Dennerlein

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pp. 97-110

Although the jazz organ lapsed from public consciousness for two decades after its heyday in the 1950s, the ’80s saw a revival of this so-called miscellaneous instrument spurred by a coterie of new practitioners. Among the most exciting to emerge was the German organist Barbara Dennerlein. Taking...

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Dottie Dodgion

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pp. 113-127

The sight of an attractive female behind the drums locking in with bass legends such as Eugene Wright, Ron Carter, Bob Cranshaw, and Milt Hinton turned many a head in the 1960s. With a career spanning six decades, jazz drummer Dottie Dodgion has lived a life populated by dozens of well-known...

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Shirley Horn

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pp. 129-144

From a local D.C. phenom to one of the grande dames of jazz, Shirley Horn has, for fifty years, captured audiences with a mesmerizing blend of voice and piano that has redefined the standard for dual performers. Fashioning a career built on love songs, her 1992 Verve release, Here’s to Life, was the...

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Ingrid Jensen

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pp. 147-161

A bold voice in the vanguard of young female instrumentalists, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen has all the characteristics of a major talent. Playing with a sound devoid of vibrato and possessing technique and musical ability to burn, she has an authoritative delivery of advanced hard-bop improvisation that...

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Sheila Jordan

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pp. 163-176

A singer’s singer who is comfortable with risky flights of improvisation, Sheila Jordan is one of the most innovative vocalists in jazz history. Her signature child-like sound remains unmistakable in a recording career that encompasses five decades. Jordan’s novel approach was shaped by her immersion...

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Diana Krall

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pp. 179-192

Canadian-born Diana Krall enjoys a superstar status attained by few jazz musicians. Trained as a jazz pianist, she added singing to her resume when the demand for dual performers became too lucrative to ignore. Her stunning good looks, record-breaking album sales, and fierce media attention...

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Abbey Lincoln

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pp. 195-212

A preeminent survivor, singer, poet, composer, painter, actress, and social critic, Abbey Lincoln has led one of the more extraordinary lives in jazz. Beginning as a popular vocalist and early African-American sex symbol, Lincoln appeared on the cover of Ebony magazine in 1956 and had starring...

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Virginia Mayhew

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pp. 215-229

Among the new crop of jazz musicians to emerge in the 1990s, saxophonist Virginia Mayhew is one of the players to watch. An incisive mainstream stylist and a gifted composer, the former classical clarinetist opted in mid-career to redirect her professional ambitions toward the jazz life. During...

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Marian McPartland

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pp. 231-251

Pianist, bandleader, composer, educator, radio personality, and author, Marian McPartland is aptly dubbed “The First Lady of Jazz.” With a long and storied career that has outlived numerous stylistic changes in jazz, the classically trained McPartland has released more than one hundred recordings...

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Helen Merrill

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pp. 253-268

For the past half-century, rarified vocalist Helen Merrill has been steadfast in her refusal to sacrifice artistry for commercial success. She has nonetheless recorded a significant body of work on some of the best labels in the music business, collaborating with a long list of jazz icons. Although her...

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Maria Schneider

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pp. 271-285

Composer/arranger Maria Schneider is one of the freshest voices to emerge since the nonpareil orchestrator Gil Evans. Schneider’s expansive compositions for big band tell personal stories in sound which unfold in arrangements that are the antithesis of the traditional theme and variations approach...

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Shirley Scott

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pp. 287-301

“Queen of the Organ,” Shirley Scott is among the earliest and most well-known women to conquer the Hammond B3. This hard-swinging organist was a prime mover in the popularization of the organ/tenor combination that was so integral to the soul jazz movement of the ’50s and ’60s. A spirited entertainer...

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Carol Sloane

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pp. 303-318

Vocalist Carol Sloane, often referred to as the “best-kept secret in jazz,” entered the national music scene in 1961, lighting up the skies for a brief period. After a twenty-year dip in national prominence, New England’s jazz diva was rediscovered by the Japanese record industry. Sloane’s musical...

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Teri Thornton

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pp. 321-337

Jazz vocalist Teri Thornton’s star shone briefly in the early 1960s. Her 1963 smash hit “Somewhere in the Night,” a cover of the theme song from the television series The Naked City, skyrocketed her to the top of the popular music polls and earned her several guest appearances on Johnny Carson’s...

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Cassandra Wilson

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pp. 339-351

Many critics cite Cassandra Wilson as the most important jazz vocalist to emerge in the 1990s. Wilson’s output of thirteen albums as a leader and forty as a principal contributor feature her unorthodox vocal interpretations in addition to her talents as a songwriter. Because Wilson has her vocal...

Suggestions for Further Reading

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p. 353

Index

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pp. 355-368

About the Author

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p. 369