Harpist Brandee Younger recently performed an alluring new original composition titled “Respected Destroyer” showcasing the effortless versatility of her sound and compositional style. With  Rashaan Carter on bass, EJ Strickland on drums, Chelsea Baratz on tenor sax, Raydar Ellis triggering sounds, and a raging solo by surprise guest trumpeter Sean Jones, Younger turned a lush ostinato into a soulful luminous groove, built on chord progressions with technique steeped in the French classical harp repertoire, laid over a DC go-go inspired beat— seamlessly. Further in the tune, tension from a layered, groove-centered introduction lands nicely into a funky, chant-like melodic line delivered by the horn section. Somehow, the likes of Chuck Brown, Ravel, and perhaps even Earth, Wind & Fire come together in the illest way possible. But this is what makes Younger’s music so exciting and fresh. Her sensibilities allow her to masterfully play with musical expectations as if to say, “Why wouldn’t I?”

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Younger is one of the most powerful and brilliant artists on the rise. Keep a look out for Brandee’s debut on Blue Note/ Revive later in the year.

Photo by Jaka Vinsek

Photo by Jaka Vinsek


5 Replies to "Brandee Younger’s “Respected Destroyer”"
Tiffany Ente says:
February 4, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Not only is Brandee Younger humble in her ability to represent Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane through her repertoire, she has a fresh voice and innovative approach to music. I anticipate she will become a name well recognized and in demand for live performances not only in Jazz, but in the main stream building on her already known contributions to alums with Common (2007: Finding Forever) and John Legend (2013: Love in the Future). If you haven’t checked her out, now’s the time.

Phyllis says:
February 4, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Brandee’s a goddess. I go to all her shows, she knows who I am, I sit in the back stomp my feet and request my tracks. Others might not dig it, but I’m that chick. Keep shinin’ you radiant amorphophallus titanum.

Tupacolypse says:
February 4, 2014 at 6:54 pm

She dropped an album called “Prelude”. Straight fire my dude. If you ever have a chance to see her perform with Niia go! They’re amazing. I think I saw her on the train once rockin’ the harp. And this was before people rocked harps on trains like that. Anyway, mad cool we talked Jazz and comic books. Love her. I hope Jazz comes back to the mainstream again. We need it. Jazz is such a part of American history that anytime you touch it it’s like diggin’ for gold.

bearbear says:
February 4, 2014 at 9:04 pm

What a beautiful tribute to Dorothy Ashby…can’t get enough of “Respected Destroyer,” composed by Brandee, as well as the Dorothy Ashby originals that she put me, and some of my friends on to!

Linda Mcnease-Younger says:
February 4, 2014 at 9:39 pm

I am so pleased that Brandee’s tribute to Dorothy has been so well received! She has even booked to perform it in other cities! I also hold out a lot of hope for her “Respected Destroyer”! I can just hear it as the backdrop to an action movie! Kudos to big sister Blair for all of the support that has ALWAYS been there.

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