Monika Herzig’s
Sheroes

CD Release Date: July 19, 2024
UPC Code: 880956240428
Availability: Worldwide
ZOHO ZM 202404

Songs:
1. All In Good Time 6:05
___Monika Herzig
2. Parade of Sadness 4:06
___Monika Herzig
3. Behind 5:02
___Gina Schwarz
4. Right Now 5:52
___Monika Herzig
5. Run the World (Girls) 6:43
Beyonce, The-Dream, V. Kartel, Diplo, D. ___Taylor, Afrojack
6. PC 4:30
___Monika Herzig
7. Palermo Chico 4:52
___Gina Schwarz
8. Make It Count 5:02
___Monika Herzig
9. Arrival in Forever 4:01
___Monika Herzig
10. Jamie’s Song 4:54

___Monika Herzig









Musicians:
Rosa Avila
drums
Jamie Baum flutes
Monika Herzig piano, keyboards
Reut Regev trombone
Gina Schwarz bass
Leni Stern guitar
Camille Thurman tenor saxophone, vocals
All In Good Time is the latest step in Monika Herzig’s ongoing mission to elevate women composers, players and bandleaders. This fourth outing under the banner Sheroes, an all-female band spearheaded by pianist, prolific composer and arranger Herzig, is simultaneously a celebration of the group’s 10th anniversary and a salute to their perseverance. “This group has pushed quite a few boundaries and inspired similar formations and initiatives,” said Herzig. “However, change takes time and we’re seeing small steps forward in those 10 years, but we remain patient.”

Back in 2014, her idea was to bring together fellow women jazz musicians with the goal of presenting powerful role models on stage as a way of breaking some lingering stereotypes; a path initially paved by Sherri Maricle and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra in the ‘90s. That groups like Artemis and others have followed the trail that Sheroes helped blaze is proof of efforts paying off.

On All In Good Time , Herzig is once again joined by Sheroes charter members Jamie Baum on flute, Reut Regev on trombone and Leni Stern on guitar. Drummer Rosa Avila returns from her appearances on 2018’s Sheroes and 2020’s Eternal Dance, while newcomers Camille Thurman on tenor sax and vocals (a former member of the DIVA Jazz Orchestra and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra) and bassist-composer Gina Schwarz fill out this current potent lineup. Together their chemistry is undeniable, as they skillfully navigate the demanding originals by Herzig and Schwarz — and one surprising cover — while delivering impassioned improvisations along the way.

They open with the elaborate title track, full of intricate counterpoint between flute and trombone and fueled by drummer Avila’s grooving backbeat and indelible hookup with Schwarz’s deep, syncopated basslines. Composed by Herzig shortly after Chick Corea’s passing in February 2021, it finds the leader outlining the moving harmony on Fender Rhodes electric piano, an instrument closely identified with Corea’s ‘70s Return To Forever bands. “I have always admired Chick’s playing and identified deeply with his music,” said the pianist, who authored the 2017 book, Experiencing Chick Corea: A Listener’s Companion and also shares a birthday (June 12) with the late, iconic composer-pianist-bandleader. “I’ve always loved his joyful approach to music-making and his constantly coming up with new projects that are meaningful to him.” Thurman also contributes an urgent tenor sax solo and Herzig adds a cascading Rhodes solo near the end of this potent number.

“Parade of Sadness” kicks off with some free improvising between Regev’s trombone and Schwarz’s bass before Avila commences the parade with an urgent second line groove. “This tune is a nod to New Orleans, with happy parades for sometimes sad occasions,” said Herzig. “It’s in the key of D minor, which is said to be the saddest key. However. that doesn’t mean upbeat music and sophisticated melodies can’t be created out of it to soar over the sad tonality.” This brisk, almost chorinho-like number features more intricate unisons between Herzig’s piano, Regev’s trombone and Baum’s flute while showcasing the sheer teamwork needed to tackle such a challenging number.

Schwarz’s vigorous number, “Behind,” fueled by the propulsive rhythm section, finds trombone locked in some challenging unisons on the head alongside bass, flute and Thurman’s wordless vocals. Regev delivers a forcefully expressive trombone solo in a breakdown with drummer Avila midway through this dynamic piece and is followed in kind by a powerful bass solo from Schwarz. Thurman then engages in some swirling exchanges with Baum on flute with an octave effect.

Herzig’s “Right Now” opens with a calming “Maiden Voyage”-like vibe before the tune opens up to some dazzling unisons and harmonies between Baum’s alto flute and Regev’s trombone. Herzig’s wonderfully melodic piano solo pushes the harmonic envelope at times before Baum unleashes over a double-time up tempo swing section. “The band is showing off their straight-ahead side on this tune,” said Herzig. “I titled the tune ‘Right Now’ because of its feel of urgency. We have to be in the moment before it flies away and we missed it.”

The real surprise here is Herzig’s clever arrangement of Beyonce’s anthemic “Run the World (Girls),” in some ways a callback to their covering Ashford & Simpson’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (a 1970 hit for Diana Ross) on 2018’s Sheroes. As she said, “I think Beyonce is such an icon in terms of modeling the power of vision and fearlessness and, of course, craft and talent. She has set the bar high and paved the way for many others to come.”

Herzig’s placid ballad “PC” (for post-Covid) finds flutist Baum and trombonist Regev blending in near-telepathic union on the hauntingly beautiful melody before turning in expressive solos. Dedicated to Wayne Shorter and written shortly after his passing in March 2023, it also stands as her post-Covid manifesto. “Our world has fundamentally changed due to this unexpected, traumatic crisis and now we are trying to erase the painful memories of uncertainty and hopelessness,” she said. “We are looking for new ways of existence, overcoming the lingering trauma of separation, the anxiety and aggression. But it is difficult and takes time. Hence, this tune is thoughtful, a reflective call to engage and accept the new reality.”

Schwarz’s driving “Palermo Chico” is another showcase of the tight interplay between flute and trombone on the engaging melody while Herzig’s metrically



shifting “Make It Count” finds the composer stretching out on piano, Leni Stern delivering a lyrical guitar solo and Avila unleashing on the kit at the tag.

The leader pays another tribute to Corea on her soothing yet solemn ode, “Arrival in Forever.” As she said, “With sophisticated harmonies and a quiet melody, we honor the master. He now has arrived in Forever.’” And the collection closes on an introspective note with “Jamie’s Song,” a mellow feature for flutist Baum that also features Herzig on a beautiful cascading piano solo. “Jamie is an outstanding composer and has become my closest collaborator over the 10 years of Sheroes history,” said Herzig. “The voicings in ‘Jamie’s Song’ reminded me of her compositional style, so I dedicated it to her and our friendship.’

As a player-composer-bandleader, Herzig has been advocating for the voices of female jazz instrumentalists since the ‘80s, “when diversity and inclusion wasn’t even a thought,” as she recalled. And while things may have slowly improved, she’s still on the mission and takes another giant step on All In Good Time.

Bill Milkowski

_

This project is supported by a Performance Plus Grant by Chamber Music America.

Thank You to: Lenny White for his guidance in shaping the music and the recording process. Monika would like to thank all the Sheroes who shared their artistry so generously on this album and all the Sheroes who recorded and performed with us over the past 10 years – love you madly. Much appreciation to our technical team especially Goldchamber Mastering for making us sound so good. Thank you to Joachim Becker and the team at ZOHO for making us part of the family and sharing our music with the world. Thank you to Peter Kienle, Zack and Jasmin Herzig, for accepting the crazy lifestyle of their Mom and Katy Borner for all the friendship and support.

Much Appreciation to our Kickstarter Supporters, especially:
Sarah Jensvold Slover, Irme Gaudig, Dan Kindlon, Kathleen McConahay,
Craig Stewart, Nicole Chao, Jon Ailabouni, Andrew Surmani, Mary Jo Papich,
Tom Cotton, Sharon Wailes, Leslie Fuller, Frank Basile, Warren Ward,
Constance Cook Glen, Katy Borner, Laurie Wright, Harry Price, and Al Smith.

Recorded: September 12-14, 2023 at Studio Mozart, Little Falls, NJ.
Engineers: Kostadin Kamcev, Bruce Miller.
Editing: Bruce Miller, Lenny White.

Mixed and mastered by: Sebastian Porstner and Horst Pfaffelmayer
at Goldchamber, Siegendorf, Austria.

Photography by: Sarah Jensvold Slover
Art direction and package design: Jack Frisch.

Producers: Lenny White, Monika Herzig, Joachim “Jochen” Becker.
Executive producers: Monika Herzig, Joachim “Jochen” Becker.

Endorsements:
Rosa Avila: Pearl Drums, Evans Drumheads, Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks.
Jamie Baum: Altus Flutes, AER and ZT Amplifiers.
Monika Herzig: Casio Keyboards.
Leni Stern: Fender Amps and Guitars, D’Addario Strings.
Camille Thurman: Henri Selmer Paris, D’Addario Woodwinds Reeds.