Monday Recommendation: The Girls In The Band

The slow acceptance of women as jazz artists is a microcosm of the larger struggle for equality of females in society. For decades, women jazz performers were largely relegated to ghettos Girls In The Bandknown as all-girl bands. Today, increasing numbers of gifted women jazz artists are accepted on an equal footing with men. The Girls In The Band, created with skill, sensitivity and documentary professionalism, is the story of the women who opened the way. There were, and are, many more of them than the handful who became household names. This moving film produced by Judy Chaikin should be experienced by anyone concerned with music—and with human progress. It is winning awards all over the place, and no wonder. It is not yet on DVD. To see a clip, and for information about screenings, go here.

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  1. Jim Brown says

    I most heartily concur with your rave review of this fine new film. I posted an equally glowing one of my own to the Jazz West Coast listserve a few weeks back after my wife and I experienced a screening here in Santa Cruz. This is one of best produced documentaries I’ve seen on any subject—excellent content both historically and musically, the transfer of sound and picture of every element is absolutely first class, the pacing is excellent, and the musicians are treated with such respect that nearly all of them open up and even glow. The intentional programmatic comparison by the film makers with “A Great Day in Harlem” is not at all out of place—indeed, the high quality of this film ranks with “Harlem” in every respect!

  2. Leslie Hoy says

    I can’t wait to see this! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the filmmakers could make this available via Amazon Instant Video so people could pay to see it at home!

  3. says

    I took my daughters and wife to a screening of the Girls in the Band in my town of State College PA (State Theatre). Following the film, two of the women (musicians) who appeared in it were present and conducted a Q&A with the audience. They are both working musicians in the Baltimore/DC region.

    It was a lovely evening, my daughters loved seeing female musician role models, and I learned about some great musicians and bands of whom I had not been aware.