Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Brandee Younger: Soul Awakening (Self-released)

A review of the harpist's third album

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.
Brandee Younger, Soul Awakening
The cover of Soul Awakening by Brandee Younger

Toying with the timeline of her own output, harpist Brandee Younger delivers a collection of music whose completion predates the realization and release of her two previous albums—2014’s Live at The Breeding Ground and 2016’s Wax & Wane. Basically in line with what appeared on those complementary recordings, Soul Awakening still manages to stand out by presenting with a bit more variety.  

An eclectic blend of the spiritual and soulful, this date proves stirring from the start. With Ravi Coltrane making a guest appearance and drummer Chris Beck stoking the flames, bassist Dezron Douglas’ “Soulris” makes for a compelling opener. Three Younger originals follow, marking the harpist as both a grounded and sophisticated force. “Linda Lee” finds this hippest of harpists at her glistening best, sharing the spotlight with the conversational coupling of tenor saxophonist Chelsea Baratz and trumpeter Freddie Hendrix; “Love’s Prayer,” with a return appearance from Coltrane, starts as melodious Zen poetry and climaxes with bubbling springs; and “Respected Destroyer,” featuring trumpeter Sean Jones, blends hints of Asiatic allure and solid neo-soul suggestions into a seamless package.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.

Dan Bilawsky

Dan Bilawsky has been involved in jazz journalism for 15 years. His work has appeared in JazzTimes, JAZZed, and All About Jazz, among other outlets. In addition, he’s penned liner notes for artists on Red, Capri, HighNote/Savant, Ropeadope, and other respected imprints. A band director with 20 years of teaching experience, he holds degrees in music from Indiana University, the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, and Five Towns College.