Friday, July 7, 2017

Streaming Playlist of the Women of Jazz

Today was a mournful day in world history, where a would-be despot and the genuine article came together as like-minded individuals, their nations notwithstanding. I sat agape as American press were barred from televising interviews, instead, disseminating prepared statements. I feel very blue, and yet...

...I feel like I've uncovered a great treasure through no effort of my own. While browsing through Flipboard, I came upon an article in Open Culture, Women of Jazz Stream a Playlist of 91 Recordings by Great Female Jazz Musicians. Yes, a playlist of 91 recordings by great female jazz musicians! 

Just as an idea of the beauty of this trove, the playlist features the great, Eartha Kitt performing "Cést si bon".

Think about the fact that many of the pieces were recorded in the early 20th century, a time when women had just begun their struggle for equality. 

The article explains, "Part of the marginalization of women in jazz has to do with the same kinds of cultural blind spots we find in discussions on every subject. We’ve been as guilty here as anyone of neglecting many great women in jazz, sadly. But women in jazz have also historically faced similar social barriers and stigmas as other women in all the arts. There are more than enough female vocalists, pianists, guitarists, trumpeters, drummers, saxophonists, bandleaders, teachers, producers to form a “worthy pantheon,” yet until fairly recently, a great many women jazz musicians have worked in the shadows of more famous men."

Granted, the songs stream on Spotify and require the app. But it's the playlist that brings together the legends like Nina Simone, Norah Jones, Diana Krall, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughn with more obscure voices into an accessible body of work.

It hurts so bad is that we have so much loveliness in this world and yet forces seek to devalue what's important to millions of thinking, caring people. I'm comforted in being able to share these cultural gems.

Play on, amazing women!

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