Phil Freeman, The Wire

Brandee Younger is rapidly becoming the jazz harpist of the moment, and this self-released album, recorded several years ago, shows that she’s been prepping for her turn in the spotlight for a while. Accompanied by bassist Dezron Douglas, drummers Chris Beck and EJ Strickland, and a variety of horn players, she pays tribute to her forebears, recording Alice Coltrane’s “Blue Nile” and Dorothy Ashby’s “Games”. She also interprets Marvin Gaye’s “Save the Children” and Douglas’s “Soulris”, and brings in four original compositions, which reflect the attraction to looping structures common to musicians raised in the hiphop era, but also allow the harp’s lushness to influence the horn charts. Arranged for trumpet, tenor sax and trombone, “Respected Destroyer” swells with triumph.

 

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