"That's What She Said" our latest CD released in November has received great reviews. Check out what our critics are saying;
Drumset Magazine - Isa Fraschini
March 01, 2017
"an interesting mix of jazz, classical and world styles that shows the potential of stringed instruments in "extra-cultured contexts," but above all the strength, beauty and creativity of women in music ... excellent drummer, Karina Colis is a pleasant discovery in beautiful evidence with great solos on Ellie, T'ainchy Blues and with intriguing and hypnotic brush-work on her "Adversidad." Good album."
Jazz Weekly - George W. Harris
February 24, 2017(see article)
WKCR: Jazz Alternative - Sharif Abdus Salaam
February 23, 2017
Thank you for supporting "That's What She Said" Sharif!
O's Place Jazz Newsletter - D. Oscar Groomes
February 20, 2017
Firey String Sistas-That’s What She Said -4/4 O's Notes: Firey String Sistas are a 5-piece chamber jazz ensemble with Nioka Workman (cello, vocals, perc), Marlene Rice (violin, vocals, perc), Melissa Slocum (b), Mala Waldron (p, vocals, perc) and Karina Colin (d, perc). They have a cool approach that is more vibrant than the traditional chamber jazz quintet. They've got just the right amount of swing and Bluegrass with lots of plucking, bowing and singing to make this a rewarding session. Highlights are "Ellie", "T'Aincy Blues", "Fantasy" and "Castle In The Sky".
All About Jazz - Hrayr Attarian
February 07, 2017
The innovative and versatile cellist Nioka Workman leads the, New York based, dynamic ensemble Firey String Sistas, on the group's captivating sophomore album. The delightful That's What She Said... consists of eight originals that explore various styles with a jazzy sensibility and thematically cohesive manner.
The tracks range from the soulful to the stately veering occasionally into Latin territory.
"Adversidad" is a wistful, passionate melody that violinist Marlene Rice plays over the hypnotic, sashaying beats of the band. Workman bows her strings with facility and grace endowing the music with a melancholic romanticism. Pianist Mala Waldron follows with a refreshingly crisp and equally lyrical solo before Rice returns to the tune's head.
Rice's lilting phrases and her colleagues' loosely swinging rhythms create a melodic substrate for Waldron honeyed vocals on the emotive "Shine." The thumping cadence of bass and drum punctuate Rice's agile and stimulating flights of fancy that embrace Waldron's rich, warm voice.
Waldron's equally expressive pianism shines on the cinematic "Fantasy." The classically influenced composition features, at its core, Warldron's cascading lines and shimmering tones. Rice and Workman alternate intricate and mellifluous soliloquies over drummer Karina Colis' splashing cymbals and bassist Melissa Slocum evocative reverberating refrains.
On the whimsical "T'Ainchy Blues" Slocum takes center stage with a playful improvisation that dances around Colis' soft beats. The latter takes her turn in the spotlight with thrillingly thunderous polyrhythms. The song also showcases Rice's ardent and lithe acrobatics and Workman's superbly eloquent extemporization.
There are rare moments where the momentum slacks such as on the overly syrupy "Castles in the Sky." The disc, however, closes on a high note with the rousing and boppish "To the Holy Land." The elegant and stirring piece highlights the seamless camaraderie among the quintet members as each individual instrumental statement overlaps with another forming a highly satisfying and textured performance.
That's What She Said... is a charming and delectable work by five supremely talented musicians. It is simultaneously accessible and sophisticated, poignant and erudite and, as such, should have a wide appeal. It certainly whets the appetite for more to come from this exceptional collective.
JazzdaGama - Raul da Gama
February 02, 2017
Firey String Sistas! That’s What She Said
By Raul da Gama -
Feb 2, 2017
"With genealogy going back a generation to Mal Waldron, Reggie Workman and Sonny Rollins, there’s enough stellar energy in Fiery String Sistas to fire up a constellation. Add to that the fact that this is an all-girl group and we have something more to crow about. However, none of that actually matters because, quite simply, each of these five women is prodigious talented in her own right making the proverbial whole infinitely greater than the sum of its parts. What more is there to crow about? The swagger can be hardly contained by the versatility of Mala Waldron, Nioka Workman, Marlene Rice, Melissa Slocum and Karina Colis. Each of the Firey String Sistas brings a thoughtful approach to original material (the only tune not composed by a ‘Sista’ is Cedar Walton’s “To the Holy Land”). Each musician speaks the language of her instrument with authority, conviction and idiomatic elegance. The result is, of course, That’s What She Said an album of boundless visceral excitement and energy.
The lovingly conceived programme begins with cellist Nioka Workman’s “Shine” a piece capturing the delicate colours and wistful melancholy of not only the cello, but the other stringed instruments – that is the violin and bass – as well as Waldron’s piano and Colis’ fan-like unfurling of her percussion palette. Each note, each phrase and line has been accorded all the care and insight of musicians proficient not only in its bluesy orientation, but also in the chamber setting into which each musician brings exquisite improvising skills. While all of the music is melodically intense the hard, swinging rhythm that comes from being schooled in the beguiling pulse of Jazz is very much a part of both ensemble sections and the lofty solos by violin and cello as well as piano, bass and drums. Every member of the ensemble contributes at least one piece, which is rare, especially among newer, contemporary bands. Workman, Rice, Waldron, Slocum and Colis each shape the fluid, expressive lines of the music to remind us that Jazz is not only written in an Afro-American rhythmic language but, in its worldwide realm, a great indefinable modern music that is texturally varied and often lights up an aural canvas with an enormous harmonic palette.
Remarkable also is the fact that the music written – which may be written by a bassist or drummer – certainly has not only the tonal and textural palette of melodic instruments such as the stringed ones, or the piano, or even the drums. This is a special testament to the writing skills of bassist Melissa Slocum and drummer Karina Colis. Each of the eight jewel-like miniatures exhibits characteristics not usually associated with a group of this configuration – that is to say, a chamber ensemble that incarnates itself in real time, into a Jazz quintet. The chameleonic nature of the group is remarkable in that it also allows for polyphonic rigour, where improvisational ambiguity gives way towards ecstatic outpouring, rendered with the utmost refinement of touch. Clifton Anderson has expertly produced this recording and praise is also due to the work of engineer Peter Karl who handles the idiosyncrasies of disparate instruments with deft touch, and to Rob Fraboni for mastering. This technical excellence combines well with the deeply personal, naturally expressive playing by the ‘Sistas’ all of which whets the appetite for further releases from the Firey String Sistas."
Raul da Gama
Based in Canada, Raul is a musician and an accomplished writer whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.
Sea of Tranquility - Jon Nuedorf
January 16, 2017
Firey String Sistas!: That's What She Said…
"The Firey String Sistas! is an all-female New York based quintet featuring you guessed it, strings. The band consists of Nioka Workman (cello, vocals, percussion), Marlene Rice (violin, vocals, percussion), Melissa Slocum (acoustic bass), Mala Waldron (piano, vocals, percussion) and Karina Colis (drums, percussion). This talented ensemble combines jazz, blues and other styles like world music but really this is first and foremost a jazz album inundated with nice melodies and uncompromising musicianship. Every song features some excellent soloing, whether it be bass, piano, violin or cello. It is an interesting approach to jazz and by no means is this a self-indulgent album. The solos are always tasteful and fit the scope of the song. The melodies can be spry and upbeat as in the soulful jazz of the album opening "Shine" and the solo filled "Ellie" with some nice scat style vocals or more subdued like the calming "Adversidad" and the slow and ethereal jazz of "Fantasy". Besides the great musicianship That's What She Said… is an album that breathes heart and soul. One can't ask for anything more than that."
WFDU-A Broad Spectrum - Mary Foster Conklin
Thank You for playing selections from That's What She Said....
December 01, 2016
Thank You For playing 'T'Ainchy Blues' by Marlene Rice and "Adversidad" by Karina Colis. Cheers!
Midwest Record - Chris Spector
November 16, 2016
A&EC FIREY STRING SISTAS!/That’s What She Said…: The vibe here is taking me back to early Norman Conners and early Stan Clarke (he wasn’t Stanley then). You are my starship with a violin leading the way? These ladies are mostly second generation jazzbos sired by hell raisers and boundary pushers so the civil rights jazz vibe is an apple that didn’t fall far from the tree. And probably more than appropriate for the times we’re living in. Certainly not for easy listening jazzbos, this isn’t crazy stuff, it’s just not easy listening either. Smart stuff for left leaners to check out. Volume 40/Number 16 November 16, 2016 MIDWEST RECORD CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher Copyright 2016 Midwest Record
Jersey Jazz - Tony Mottola
December 09, 2016
Strings on Fire
"All of the performers displayed impressive technique, not to mention more than a modicum of swing,......."
Hightops and Heels Blog - Priscilla Amado
December 09, 2016
Thank you for supporting Firey String Sistas! Priscilla.