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Two women in straw, wide-brimmed hats play cello (on the left) and violin (on the right).

Sammy Stein – “Fabulous Female Musicians” review

It’s always dangerous to review a book. Thankfully, the only danger in readingFabulous Female Musicians” is that you may learn about musicians you’ll also want to hear.

Women In Music from Stein

Stein caught my attention previously. Her writing and advocacy for jazz is renown. As I glance through the many books about music, it seems to me she is one of the world’s most notable writers who are also jazz advocates. Among the 21 women in this book, several of them are not playing and composing jazz.

And this is not the first time that Stein has reviewed female musicians. Her previous books include Women In Jazz and In Their Own Words. These books drew attention to women who might not have been otherwise known to many listeners.

Review Rendezvous

I have a few friends who tell me that we should stop using gender identifiers like “female” and “women”. However, as things stand, I completely understand why Stein is pressing for advocacy of women musicians. It’s so obvious that women have experienced prejudice, bullying, and worse in the music business.

Because this book comes to each highlighted musician through an interview, they get to tell their story in their own words. This is a significant part of the beauty of this book. I can’t say too much more or I’d have to add spoilers.

Fabulous Feminine

What I can say is that these interviews are important for you to read. Just as they were important for me. Women composers deserve attention. Female songwriters should be playlisted. Sign up for their mailing lists; stream and download their music; go to their concerts; and follow/like/boost them on the web.

If you’re not in the music industry, you may not understand the full importance of that last paragraph. What I can tell you is that it is important.

Female Continuation

The cover of Sammy Stein's book, "Fabulous Female Musicians"

When you finish reading Stein’s book, don’t stop there. Type a few of those websites from the “FURTHER INFORMATION” pages into your web browser. And then, do what’s most important for musicians (female or otherwise): Listen.

As one example, check out Amina Figarova. Once you visit her website, you’ll find a plethora of musical expression. And what I’m hearing is deep in musicality and humanness.

Another of the interviewees I’ll mention from “Fabulous Female Musicians” is Charu Suri. She is not alone in bringing together a wide variety of influences. In Caru’s case, those include traditional Indian music and jazz. The reason I note her among the 21 women interviewed is that we have interacted on social networks. This is why (as was unfortunately rare for me) I had heard several of her recordings before I read Stein’s book.

Want more? Bring Fabulous Female Musicians onto your bookshelf and these fabulous musicians into your listening library. Go to the back of book and type in a few more websites!

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