A partial survey of women musicians, from some lists of forgotten women:
Fanny, the first all-female rock act to record an album for a major record label. The four original members were June Millington, guitar, vocals; Jean Millington (red link), bass & vocals; Alice de Buhr (red link), drums & vocals, and Nickey Barclay (keyboards, vocals).
“June and Nickey were the primary songwriters for the band, but Jean and Alice made significant contributions to Fanny’s repertoire and all four participated in arranging the songs and crafting their stage performances.”
The group opened for David Bowie, Deep Purple, George Harrison, and the Kinks.
The first was Helen Lewis and Her All-Girl Jazz Syncopators (red link) in the mid-1920s, IMDb.
- The Ingenues 1925, vaudeville orchestra light jazz “syncopators”, styled “The female Paul Whitemans”. Soloist trombonist Paula Jones (red link) (no, not THAT Paula Jones) (1)(2).
- Lil Hardin’s All-girl Orchestra (red link). [sources: 1, 2]
- International Sweethearts of Rhythm. “The band’s singer and conductor, Anna Mae Winburn, was for a time an icon ranked alongside Ellington and Basie.”
- The DIVA Jazz Orchestra (red link), 1992, founded around drummer/bandleader Sherrie Maricle. Other former members include Anat Cohen, Allison Miller, and Ingrid Jensen.
- Tia Fuller Quartet (red link): Tia Fuller, saxophonist, played with Beyoncé’, the other four members are Shamie Royston (red link) [source], piano; Miriam Sullivan “Mimi Jones” (red link) [source], bass; and Kim Thompson drums.
Tammy Hall (red link) or Tammy L. Hall is a composer and musician specializing in jazz piano. Her album Blue Divine was nominated for Grammy awards in Best Jazz Instrumental Album and Best Jazz Instrumental Solo.
Hall began playing piano at the age of 4. Her mother was a concert pianist, but died when Hall was a year old. Her grandparents raised her and provided her with lessons in classical music. She learned to play piano and organ, and eventually received a music scholarship to Mills College in Oakland. She spent two years in Brussels, playing in in Europe then returned to the San Francisco area. For the next 15 years worked during the day in a law firm, and at night as an accompanist for local blues, cabaret, and jazz singers.
See her website for complete list.
- Blue Divine 2006
- Rejuve 2007
- Blue Soul 2012
The shows themselves are surveys, plus there are some prestigious festivals.
- “Blues Is a Woman,” with Pamela Rose (review)(review) “from Ma Rainey to Bonnie Raitt”, including Ma Rainey’s 1927 “Don’t Fish in My Sea”, “Nobody Know the Way I Feel This Morning”, a 1924 recording by Margaret Johnson, but ZOMG, where is the disambig for the other 3 articles, you don’t just start a new section titled “Confusion” to disambiguate….ARRRGGGHHH. Also Ida Cox’s “One Hour Mama”, and the early ‘black pearls’; Mamie Smith, Bessie Smith (“Backwater Blues” 1927), and Memphis Minnie. Then Peggy Lee “You Was Right Baby”, (they’re not all black), Dinah Washington’s double entendre “Big Long Sliding Thing”, and Janis Joplin’s cover ”Ball and Chain”, written by Big Mama Thornton (she sings it here) (who also wrote the Hound Dog song of Elvis fame), and Bonnie Raitt’s “Love Me Like a Man”.
- “Wild Women of Song,” with Pamela Rose (review1, review2) about “little-known women who wrote standards like “A Fine Romance” and “Close Your Eyes.” Names are Ida Cox, Dorothy Fields, Peggy Lee, Kay Swift, Doris Fisher Doris Fisher (songwriter), Bernice Petkere, and Maria Grever [source] (See Pamela Rose interview Tammy Hall here and here “Wild women of piano” oral history of vaudville circuits etc.). Lovey Austin (red link), Chicago pianist 1920s who was part of everybody’s biography: Lil Hardin, Louie Armstrong, Ida Cox, Alberta Hunter…collaboration/composer/arranger, (wrote the notation an hour before showtime with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth)… For more about Lovey Austin, see Morning Glory: A Biography of Mary Lou Williams book by Linda Dahl. Also Dorothy Donegan in the “chitlin’ circuit”, Hazel Scott, who studied at Julliard at the age of 8, Kay Swift whose family started Julliard, Mary Lou Williams “Black Christ of the Andes” and “Kyrie“, (these are as they say, “ahead of her time”, barely recognizable as jazz).
All right, that ought to keep the Wikipediocrazies busy for the rest of the black history month, if they bother with such things other than to mansplain to other people what they ought to be doing about it.