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Lioness, an Impressive New Post-Bop Collective, Comes Roaring Onto Morning Jazz

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Chris Tobin
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WBGO
Members of Lioness: Lauren Sevian, Jenny Hill, Amanda Monaco, Akiko Tsuruga, Sylvia Cuenca, Alexa Tarantino

When Lioness stopped by Morning Jazz, this all-female ensemble came loaded with all the agility, bravery and musical alpha pride you’d expect from a group with this name.

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Credit Chris Tobin / WBGO
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WBGO
Alexa Tarantino, of Lioness, performing on Morning Jazz

Featuring Lauren Sevian on baritone sax, Alexa Tarantino on alto saxophone, Jenny Hill on tenor and flute, Akiko Tsuruga on organ, Amanda Monaco on guitar and Sylvia Cuenca on drums, the band played music from a recent debut album, Pride & Joy (Posi-Tone).

(On the album, Allison Miller plays drums; beyond that substitution, the personnel is the same.)

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Credit Chris Tobin / WBGO
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WBGO
Lauren Sevian, of Lioness, performing on Morning Jazz

Their set list at WBGO included “Jelly,” a bluesy ensemble piece by Monaco; “Happy Day,” a piece by Hill that will have you doing an island dance before its end; and “Funky Girl,” a wall-sweating original from Tsuruga.

These and other originals — along with a salute to female composers outside the pride — will heat things up at Dizzy’s Club on Wednesday night, when these great ladies make the stage their lair.

Here is “Funky Girl,” recorded in the WBGO performance studio during the Lioness session on Morning Jazz.

Here too is “Down For the Count,” a swinger by Sevian.

Videography: Chris Tobin

Audio Mix and Video Edit: Corey Goldberg