Various Artists

Women in Jazz: All Women Groups, Vol. 1

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The first of three LPs (not counting a double album) released by Stash in the late '70s that reissues material featuring top female jazz musicians focuses on all-women groups of the late swing and bop eras. The International Sweethearts of Rhythm made relatively few records; three are on this set (Viola Burnside on tenor is most impressive). In addition to pianist Mary Lou Williams, vibraphonist Marjorie Hyams, guitarist Mary Osborne and pianst Beryl Booker, such relatively unknown names as trumpeters Jean Starr and Norma Carson, L'Ana Hyams on tenor and bassist Vivian Garry are also heard from. This is a valuable retrospective that casts a light on some long-neglected recordings and talents.