Revive Audio: Brandee Younger Delivers A Funk Jazz Tribute To Dorothy Ashby For 'Supreme Sonacy'
(Photo by Deneka Peniston for Revive)
For jazz harpist Brandee Younger, little can compare to the joy of listening to her hero, Dorothy Ashby. Ashby lead the charge for harp musicians looking to stake out a space of their own amongst jazz's improvisational field, and on the new track "Dorothy Jeanne," Younger pays funky tribute to her hero's skill and style. The track premiered over at Wax Poetics and is the lead-off single from Revive Music's newest compilation LP, a sprawling survey of modern jazz that's come to be known as Supreme Sonacy.
"Dorothy Jeanne" was produced by multi-instrumentalist and frequent Robert Glasper collaborator Casey Benjamin, who told WaxPo that "the lush orchestration and arrangements of Dorothy’s music reminded me of the CTI releases from the ’70s. I wanted to stay true to that feeling and capture the true essence of Dorothy’s music, but make it a bit more accessible to the masses in present time. I want people to pick up on the subtle nature of her music. She is saying more with less. It’s not super complex but the emotion is strong.”
Swirling in the patient beauty of Younger's harp, the track builds gradually through an opening solo as bass and percussion slowly join in. Younger's band of Chelsea Baratz on tenor sax, Dezron Douglas on bass, Dana Hawkins on the kit, and floutist Anne Drummond provide her with an airtight and modern foundation over which she can glide and soar; "Dorothy Jeanne" is exactly the sort of jazz track you wish you could find more often in your radio-scanning and crate-digging.
Despite the musicians' excellence, it's still all about ms Ashby on the new single. “I really wanted to touch upon the aspects that influenced me early on,” Younger told Wax Poetics, “from The Jazz Harpist to the later records like Afro-Harping and The Rubaiyat of Dorothy Ashby. Ashby was responsible for putting the harp on the map outside of classical music, and those records showed me that the harp had no musical limitations.” Listen to "Dorothy Jeanne" below and prepare to see the rest of your day (or evening) in beautiful new colors.