by Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz

Pianist Ellen Rowe, the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation at the University of Michiigan and the one-time Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Connecticut, has put together a program of original music rendered by women and written for women—specifically to honor those female trailblazers in various fields that have inspired her. And no, that concept is not limited to figures in jazz. Opening on the soulful “Ain’t I A Woman,” a hymn of sorts honoring Septima Clark, Fannie Lou Hamer, Mary Bethune Cook, and other women who stood tall in the civil rights movements, Rowe immediately establishes a resolute stance while spotlighting trombonist Melissa Gardiner and bassist Marion Hayden, among others.

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