It’s Women’s History Month and we’re celebrating with recent releases by women artists.
Our featured jazz releases include Esperanza Spalding’s Emily’s D+Evolution, Chicago-based jazz cellist Tomeka Reid’s Tomeka Reid Quartet, Dee Dee Bridgewater ‘s celebration of New Orleans jazz on Dee Dee’s Feathers, Indra Rios-Moore’s Heartland, plus two releases from jazz harpists—Brandee Younger’s Wax & Wane and Mariea Antoinette’s Straight from the Harp.
On the soulful side there’s Regina Belle’s The Day Life Began and The Three Degrees’ Strategy (Our Tribute to Philadelphia). Mindi Abair & the Boneshakers’ give a hard rocking performance on Live in Seattle, featuring vocalist Sweet Pea Atkinson and guitarist Randy Jacobs, while poet-musician shirlette ammons’ explores rock, folk and hip-hop on Language Barrier. Contemporary Christian recording artist Lynda Randle offers Ageless Hymns: Songs of Joy, while Western Saharan singer/activist Aziza Brahim reflects on her life as a refugee on Abbar el Hamada (Across the Hamada).
Also featured is the CD/DVD edition of Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall that’s bundled with the new Spike Lee documentary Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall; the Blind Willie Johnson tribute album God Don’t Never Change from Alligator Records; and the Latin jazz album Canto América from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music faculty Michael Spiro (percussion) and Wayne Wallace (trombone). Wrapping up this issue is a review of two 1970s Afro-pop compilations—Senegal 70: Sonic Gems & Previously Unreleased Recordings from the 70’s and Soul Sok Sega: Sega Sounds from Mauritius, 1973-1979—plus our list of February 2016 Releases of Note.