Stacy Rowles, who plays trumpet and fluegelhorn, recently made a little bit of jazz history when she recorded her debut album, "Tell It Like It Is," for the Concord label. With father Jimmy Rowles lending his incomparable skills on the piano (something he's done for a host of jazz legends ranging from Benny Goodman and Woody Herman to Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald), it marked the first father-daughter instrumental team on vinyl, according to producer and historian Leonard Feather.
Rowles, who will perform as a special guest with the all-women jazz quintet Alive! at Blues Alley tomorrow, says making the album created some pressure "because it was a family thing. But I found it extremely easy, as usual, to work with Dad. He's soooo good at what he does, you don't really realize it unless you get a chance to play with him."
Over the last two years, Rowles pe re has played casual duet and quartet dates with his daughter around Los Angeles. They had first played publicly at the Monterey Jazz festival in 1973, but Stacy Rowles says it was between 1975 and 1981, when her father was working in New York, that her playing came together and she felt comfortable on the same bandstand.
"It was really intimidating for a long time," she admits, "but then I finally got to the point where I felt I could play a song with him and not fall on my face." Besides her guest stint with Alive!, Rowles performs with Maiden Voyage, a Los Angeles-based women's big band, and she is starting to think about forming her own group.
At this point, the 29-year-old Rowles has no feelings about the gender makeup of such a group, though she senses a male chauvinism still prevalent in jazz hirings. "There are a lot more women horn players these days who can really play," she says, "but I know of some very major jazz people who refuse to use women or even consider using women in their groups." With role models like Stacy Rowles and Jane Ira Bloom, it's likely there will be even more women players in the future.