21

Jazzmeia Horn: A Social Call

James Nadal By

Sign in to view read count
Coming from a gospel oriented family in Dallas, Texas, given a unique name and early tutelage by her piano playing grandmother, Jazzmeia Horn was destined to be a jazz singer. After relocating to New York City to pursue music studies, she went on to conquer the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition, topping that by winning the Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition in 2015. All of this preparation and recognition has culminated in her debut release A Social Call, on the revived Prestige label, part of the Concord Music Group.

Personally involved in all aspects of the musician selection and production process, Horn decided on an acoustic small group format, which best presents her clear vocal articulation. The sessions have her voice smoothly integrating into the ensemble, becoming a supple instrument, and a musical extension of the band. Horn will readily admit to having a number of major influences, one being Betty Carter, whose "Tight," opens the set, a straight ahead showcase for her natural scatting, and ability to interact with saxophonist Stacy Dillard. The standard "East Of The Sun (And West Of The Moon)" is performed with the core band, with bassist Ben Williams, and drummer Jerome Jennings supporting pianist Victor Gould, who proves he is the ideal accompanist for this project. The trio shines on the quickened Johnny Mercer classic "I Remember You," and on the title track, Horns' voice transformed into pure bop expression. Adorned with sophisticated trumpet lines from Josh Evans, her rhythmic manipulation of the melody on the tranquil ballad "The Peacocks," captures her signature sound in all its splendor and grace.

The horn section of Evans on trumpet, trombonist Frank Lacy, and saxophonist Dillard, enhance the arrangement of "Up Above My Head," and provide the soulful background for the gospel meets jazz merger "Lift Every Voice And Sing/Moanin." Singing and scatting through moods, styles, and tempos, with inherent ease, Horn appears to enjoy the challenges in musical diversity. The standout three part medley "Afro Blue/Eye See You/ Wade In The Water," begins with Jennings on African percussion, while Horn improvises exotic incantations and nuances, leading into the lyrics. The middle section of "Eye See You," is a spoken word social commentary on conditions in the African-American experience; and the hymn "Wade In The Water," represents a soothing conclusion, drawing comfort and solace from Horns' gospel roots. In keeping with her contemporary leanings, she re-imagines the R&B hit "I'm Going Down," with a swinging jazz beat and a taste of neo-soul.

Exhibiting an advanced artistic development and confidence associated with more established performers, Jazzmeia Horn exudes an intense sense of purpose, and delivers an outstanding repertoire skillfully suited to her talent. Citing influences and mentors as vital in the process of becoming a musician, Horn was determined to find her own voice, and she has succeeded.

Track Listing: Tight; East of the Sun (And West of the Moon); Up Above My Head; Social Call; People Make the World Go Round; Lift Every Voice and Sing/Moanin’; The Peacocks (A Timeless Place); I Remember You; Medley: Afro Blue/Eye See You/Wade in the Water; I’m Going Down.

Personnel: Jazzmeia Horn: vocals; Victor Gould: piano; Ben Williams: bass; Jerome Jennings: drums, percussion; Stacy Dillard: tenor saxophone; Josh Evans: trumpet; Frank Lacy: trombone.

Title: A Social Call | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Prestige Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Jun20Thu
Jazzmeia Horn
Jazz Standard
New York, NY
Jun20Thu
Jazzmeia Horn
Jazz Standard
New York, NY
Jun21Fri
Jazzmeia Horn
Jazz Standard
New York, NY
Jun21Fri
Jazzmeia Horn
Jazz Standard
New York, NY
Jun22Sat
Jazzmeia Horn
Jazz Standard
New York, NY
Jun22Sat
Jazzmeia Horn
Jazz Standard
New York, NY
Jun23Sun
Jazzmeia Horn
Jazz Standard
New York, NY

Related Articles

Read Along for the Ride Album Reviews
Along for the Ride
By Jack Bowers
June 20, 2019
Read Ancestral Recall Album Reviews
Ancestral Recall
By Karl Ackermann
June 20, 2019
Read Eternal Youth Album Reviews
Eternal Youth
By Don Phipps
June 20, 2019
Read Curiouser and Curiouser Album Reviews
Curiouser and Curiouser
By Mike Jurkovic
June 20, 2019
Read Getz At The Gate Album Reviews
Getz At The Gate
By Chris May
June 19, 2019
Read Keep Talkin' Album Reviews
Keep Talkin'
By Dan McClenaghan
June 19, 2019
Read Night Owl Album Reviews
Night Owl
By Dan Bilawsky
June 19, 2019