JT Track Premiere: Jazzmeia Horn’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing/Moanin’”

From her debut album, "A Social Call," to be released May 12 on Prestige/Concord

Jazzmeia Horn: "A Social Call"
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Jazzmeia Horn: "A Social Call"
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Jazzmeia Horn (photo by Jacob Blickenstaff)
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Jazzmeia Horn (photo by Jacob Blickenstaff)
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On May 12, Prestige/Concord Music Group will release Jazzmeia Horn’s debut album, A Social Call. The 10-track set features Horn, the 2015 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition winner, backed by pianist Victor Gould, trumpeter Josh Evans, saxophonist Stacy Dillard, trombonist Frank Lacy, bassist Ben Williams and drummer Jerome Jennings.

The set list comprises songs Horn selected to reflect a message of social uplift and optimism—a mix of standards (“East of the Sun (and West of the Moon),” “I Remember You”), hard-bop anthems (“Afro-Blue,” “Moanin’”), spirituals (“Wade in the Water,” “Lift Every Voice and Sing”) and R&B hits (“I’m Goin’ Down,” “People Make the World Go Round”). Two songs associated with Betty Carter, a personal influence on Horn, are also included in the set (“Tight,” “Social Call”).

In a press release, Horn states, “I am inspired by those elders who came before me and I desire to do the same with my art. ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ (originally a poem written in honor of Booker T. Washington in 1900) was declared the Negro National Anthem by the NAACP in 1919. It is an expression of faith and hope during the quest for freedom of those who were called Negroes during that time.

“In 1958 ‘Moanin” was first recorded by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, also a group of musicians who were both spiritual and intellectual, and wrote music that reflected the times. Those two works of art that were written in those times unfortunately still duplicate the times in our society today.”

JazzTimes is proud to premiere “Lift Every Voice and Sing/Moanin’” by Jazzmeia Horn.