Archive for the ‘Brandee Younger’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: BRANDEE YOUNGER-“Hortense” (Field Recordings, June 6, 2013).

I had never heard of anyone playing jazz harp before.  At first I thought that it was just going to be harp music with an upright bass giving it a jazzy feel, but no.  Younger is playing a beautiful lead melody on the harp while Dezron Douglas’ upright bass adds a real boho jazz element.  Basically, this is in no way new age harp music.

But this Field Recording [Brandee Younger: Taxidermy, Two-Headed Skeletons And Jazz Harp] seems to get more than a little distracted by its surroundings.  And who can blame the filmers?

Among the vestment racks, satchel purveyors and art galleries of New York’s SoHo neighborhood lies a small merchant unlike its neighbors. It’s called The Evolution Store, and it peddles, um, natural-history collectibles. You know, preserved insects, taxidermy, skulls and bones, remnants of marine creatures. It’s as if a museum ran out of space and started putting its sloths and tarantulas in the gift shop.

We’re not quite sure what any of this has to do with Brandee Younger [who doesn’t know a sloth when she sees one], though she is a rare breed in her world: a jazz harpist.

A bit more about Younger:

She’s classically trained, and plays her share of freelance and wedding gigs — in her C.V. are recordings for rappers Common and Drake — but like predecessors Alice Coltrane and Dorothy Ashby, she’s also developed a way to improvise and truly groove on the harp.

I really enjoy the minimalism of this piece.  I am quite fond of the harp. So I’m intrigued to read:

With a full band, the song heard here, “Hortense,” takes on a distinct Caribbean bounce, a one-drop reggae beat anchoring Dezron Douglas’ bass line. Stripped down to a duo, it wafts and glides, all arpeggios and plucked wires.

I’m not sure I would enjoy the full band version as much, so I’m glad I got this one–bizarre as the surroundings may be.

[READ: January 25, 2018] “Willows Village”

This is the story of Guillermo, call him Billy, who has moved to Santa Ana to live with his Aunt Maggy.  Billy has a wife and a child in El Paso, but he doesn’t have a job and he thought he could move to a more wealthy part of the country, get a job and send a lot of money home to his family.  His Aunt Maggy is his mother’s sister and while he has heard a lot of gossip about her, he will still ask for the favor of her hospitality.

He hasn’t seen her in years and he is surprised at how good she looks–she’s actually pretty hot, which he finds disturbing but true.  And she welcomes him with open arms.  She gives him a room and whatever food or drink he wants.

Maggy proves to be quite the character  She drinks.  A lot.  She has a ton of money–when she opens her purse to pay a delivery guy, money just falls out of it.  And she seems to eat one bite  of food and store the rest in the fridge, until it spoils.

She tells Billy that Lorena is also staying with her.  She is a good friend and has been having marital trouble, so Maggy put her up in the guest room.  She put Billy–Guillermo she will call him–in her “playroom,” a pink room with dolls and make up boxes and photos.  It was weird. (more…)

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