One of the few women of Chicago's creative music, and one of the few jazz composers with a mastery of blues, gospel and soul music, Arkansas-born pianist (and, more importantly, arranger) Amina-Claudine Myers (1942) was largely missing from the great recordings of the 1960s, despite joining Muhal Richard Abrams' band in 1966. She was more interested in composing and arranging vocal music. Relocating to New York in 1976, she debuted with an album of solo piano interpretations of Marion Brown's music, Poems For Piano (july 1979), followed by a lyrical Song For Mother Earth (october 1979), a duet with percussionist Pheeroan aklaff. Salutes Bessie Smith (june 1980) in a trio with bass and drums contained her 15-minute touching African Blues. Another trio recording, Circle of Time (february 1983), contained six originals that summarized her musical roots and her spiritual persona. She converted to funk-jazz fusion with Country Girl (april 1986), containing three extended compositions such as Country Girl, Blessings and Pain performed by a sextet with Patience Higgins on flute, alto sax and soprano sax, Ricky Ford on tenor sax, Jerome Harris on bass guitar, Reggie Nicholson on drums, Bola Idowu on percussion, and Myers on piano, harmonica and vibraphone (and a few of them doubling on vocals), and with the inferior Jumping In The Sugar Bowl (march 1984).
Amina (november 1987) and In Touch (may 1989), as well as
as well as the live trio Women in (E)motion (september 1988),
were very minor works.
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