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Regional Interests

Brandee Younger, 'Reclamation'

What does "Reclamation'' mean to Brandee Younger? The first single from Somewhere Different, her gleaming Impulse debut, is a driving jazz-funk sunburst that calls back to a heyday of popular Black musical uplift (the cultural moment so vividly captured in a new doc film, Summer of Soul). But "Reclamation" also opens with an arpeggiated pizzicato vamp on Younger's harp, which gradually opens to strummed chords, swept glissandi and a solo that brings it all together. As the most heralded new voice on the harp in a generation, Younger feels a responsibility to rep for her principal forebears, Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane — brilliant African American women who blazed a trail by setting their own creative terms. Reclaiming their legacy means carrying on their example, without for a moment retracing their path.

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