Title - Shoulder to Shoulder – Centennial Tribute to Women
Artist - Karrin Allyson Sextet
Even those casually familiar with vocalist and pianist Karrin Allyson’s 26-year recording career surely appreciate her tremendous versatility, exploring everything from French chansons to Brazilian jazz, from blues to pop, from Coltrane to Rodgers and Hammerstein with unerring panache.
And now the Karrin Allyson Sextet has released Shoulder to Shoulder: Centennial Tribute to Women’s Suffrage (August 30th, 2019 via eOne Music), a very special and timely album to celebrate the centennial of women’s voting rights.
In addition to five-time Grammy nominee Karrin Allyson, the sextet also features Ingrid Jensen (trumpet), Mindi Abair (alto saxophone) Helen Sung (piano), Endea Owens (bass), and Allison Miller (drums).
Furthermore, Shoulder to Shoulder seeks to re-create the multi-decade debate – warts and all – that culminated in the enactment of the nineteenth amendment.
"We want to highlight this significant movement in American history," says Karrin. "One that we shouldn’t forget and that is relevant today. It’s also one in which music played an important role."
2. 'The March of the Women'
3. 'The Great Convention' (featuring Madeleine Peyroux, Denise Donatelli)
4. 'Susan B. Anthony (1873)' (performed by Rosanne Cash)
5. 'I’ll Be No Submissive Wife'
6. 'Frederick Douglass (1888)' (performed by Harry Belafonte)
7. 'Anti Suffrage Rose' (featuring Veronica Swift)
8. 'She’s Good Enough To Be Your Baby’s Mother'
9. 'Elihu Root (1894)' (performed by Peter Eldridge)
10. 'Columbia’s Daughters'
11. 'Sojourner Truth (1851)' (performed by Lalah Hathaway)
12. 'The Promised Land' (featuring Pauline Jean, Antonia Bennett, Emily Estefan, Kate Reid)
13. 'Winning the Vote' (featuring Kurt Elling)
14. 'Alice Paul (1921)' (performed by Julie Swidler)
15. 'Way Down Below' (featuring Regina Carter)
16. 'Big Discount' (featuring Rapsody)
This quite breathtakingly honest, raw and heartfelt album begins with a spoken word 'Preamble,' before the upbeat 'The March of the Women' and the mid-tempo, low light jazz appeal of 'The Great Convention' (featuring Madeleine Peyroux, Denise Donatelli) comes along.
Next up, Rosanne Cash reads 'Susan B. Anthony (1873),' which is followed by the tersely perky 'I’ll Be No Submissive Wife,' before Harry Belafonte reads 'Frederick Douglass (1888).'
'Anti Suffrage Rose' (featuring Veronica Swift) and the flirtatious 'She’s Good Enough To Be Your Baby’s Mother' are both pure musical joys to behold, and are backed by Peter Eldridge reading 'Elihu Root (1894)' and Lalah Hathaway reading 'Sojourner Truth (1851)' (with the smooth jazz of 'Columbia’s Daughters' resting neatly in between).
This quite extraordinary and deeply profound album then rounds out with the gospel harmonies of 'The Promised Land,' 'Winning the Vote' (featuring Kurt Elling), Julie Swidler reads 'Alice Paul (1921),' and then comes to a close on the honey dew approach to 'Way Down Below' (featuring Regina Carter), and then the finger-snappin' 'Big Discount' (featuring Rapsody).
In closing, Shoulder to Shoulder – Centennial Tribute to Women’s Suffrage is just a fabulous musical journey through the history of the American Women’s Rights movement.
Superbly sung and narrated, it is, quite easily, one of my Top 10 of the year and I'm sure it will be in yours also once you have taken a listen.
Amazon CD Purchase Link