Brandee Younger: Somewhere Different

Editor's Choice

Rating: ★★★★

Record and Artist Details


Allan Mednard
Marcus Gilmore (d)
Dezron Douglas
Rashaan Carter
Ron Carter (b)
Brandee Younger
Chelsea Baratz (ts)
Maurice Brown (t)
Anne Drummond (fl)




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November 2020–February 2021

From the inventive comping in the striking album opener ‘Reclamation’ to the heavy ostinato of the final track, ‘Tickled Pink’, which irrevocably calls to mind ‘The Creator Has A Master Plan’ from Pharoah's iconic Karma, Brandee Younger’s major label debut on Impulse! Records is a work of enormous imagination and mesmerising artistry. Exuding a palpable Alice Coltrane vibe, the way that ‘Spirit U Will’ fades in and out feels as if you're overhearing an excerpt from a celestial concert. Tarriona “Tank” Ball, founder and lead vocalist with the brilliant Tank and the Bangas, offers a typically mellifluous reminiscence on ‘Pretend’, while the title track, which begins with an almost Alberti bass-type configuration in the harp, adroitly segues from a Latin feel to the synthesised drums of trap (programmed here by Marcus Gilmore), with Younger’s subtle use of electronics helping to keep the harp absolutely front and centre within the overall texture. Originally written for an Audible Theater play called In Love and Struggle, ‘Love & Struggle’ is marked by its sense of space and elegance of construction. ‘Beautiful Is Black’, the first of a brace of tracks featuring bass legend Ron Carter, is one of the most beautiful ballads you’ll hear this year, with a melody which immediately engraves itself on your heart. ‘Olivia Benson’ (Younger is a devotee of Law and Order) features another ear-catching unison line between Younger and Carter, in which the rising second phrase seems to be asking a question. A wonderful, many-faceted album.

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