Forced into lockdown in their apartment in the spring of 2020, Dezron Douglas (bassist) and Brandee Younger (harpist) started a series of Instagram brunches to stay connected with fans and friends and the music. What resulted was the album Force Majeure, which lives up to its name in every way. While many may see the “force majeure” here as the pandemic, the real truth is that music can constitute an extraordinary circumstance that is beyond the control of any party or thing, including a pandemic.
This music will grab you and clarify two things:
- This is exactly what those bass fanatics (I am one of them) talk about when extolling the virtues of the big instrument on the bottom, and
- If it wasn’t patently obvious already, the harp is such a gorgeous instrument that it deserves more prominence in virtually every genre of music, including jazz.
What helps is the selection of outstanding material, including the Stylistics beautiful 1973 song, penned by the incomparable “Philly sound” team of Thom Bell and Linda Creed. This song has been done many times by many jazz artists (my favorite was Hubert Laws’ version on the LP Chicago Theme) since the 70s, but never quite like this.
As I write in late January with the pandemic still raging and Douglas and Younger’s version playing through the computer speakers, I do feel a brand new sense of hope.
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Listen to the full album Force Majeur: