Born in New Jersey in 1938, the American organist and singer Rhoda Scott was first spotted in Harlem by Count Basie and later in France by Eddie Barclay, with whom she quickly began a recording streak. She has been living in France for half a century and is the ambassador of the Hammond organ in Europe. Popularised in jazz by Jimmy Smith, this instrument, traditionally found in black churches, migrated to the world of jazz and soon revealed its wonderful, singular sound.
Rhoda is also the pioneer of a movement to feminize the international jazz scene and, since 2004, she has surrounded herself with the best instrumentalists – as at this edition of the 2018 Jazz à la Villette Festival. She is joined by the drummers Anne Paceo and Julie Saury, trumpeter Julien Alour and saxophonists Géraldine Laurent, Lisa Cat-Berro and Sophie Alour. The title of their album, We Free Queens, sets the tone.
Sonuma Archives 1967