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Jazzmeia Showcases Her Distinctive Acrobatic Vocal Chops

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Sunday April 16, 2017

From San Diego County News

Jazzmeia Horn’s ‘A Social Call’ Album Showcases her Distinctive Acrobatic Vocal Chops
By: Danny R. Johnson

NEW YORK, NY – “Before Ella and Sarah you had to sing the melody straight. They opened it for others to follow individual styles of their own.” – Betty Carter (1929-1998).

Betty Carter was one of the most celebrated female vocalists and composers of the 20th Century, and she was on to something when she made the above statement in a 1974 interview. Singers from jazz who have captured and enraptured the general audience are few. Among the men might be numbered Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller; among the women might be Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and perhaps, Peggy Lee. And as we fast forward to 2017, a number of female vocalists have graced the jazz world such as Diana Krall, Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, and Dee Dee Bridgewater.

Alas, now enters a newcomer to the jazz scene who goes by the name of Jazzmeia Horn, a native of Dallas, Texas, and debuts with a soon to be released album on May 12, 2017, “A Social Call,” on Concord Record’s Prestige label. Almost inevitably, the characteristics of Horn’s unique and distinctive singing and arrangements of melodies on this album points to a strikingly different approach to song interpretation from that chosen by her predecessors and peers.

The release of “A Social Call” will surely be one album that showcases and formally establishes Horn as a break-through star. Not only does she do only familiar songs, but Horn interprets such classics as “Tight,” “East of the Sun (And West of the Moon),” “Up Above My Head,” and “People Make The World Go Round,” she sings them in the conventionally swinging fashion, utilizing such time-honored as, on Betty Carter’s “Tight,” changing keys between choruses, hardly a harmolodic device, but brilliantly smart.

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