When somebody says "jazz harp," I don't blink. After all, I'm a Frecnh horn player, and there aren't many instruments that are less likely candidates for membership in jazz circles than the horn. Not many, at all -- but the harp is surely one of them.
Turns out that, in the right hands, both the horn and the harp make beautiful, soulful jazz. The evidence for the horn is right here. Brandee Younger supplies all the evidence you'll ever need for the harp.
I've been lucky enough to hear Younger perform several times. She and her band -- always an amazing band -- have consistently blown me away. It's brilliant, creative, funky music-making, as in the video below.
This tune, "Respected Destroyer," is a Younger original and was recorded just a couple of weeks ago, at a tribute concert to Dorothy Ashby, a jazz harp pioneer. I like the way Younger writes as much as the way she plays.
The band, of course, is terrific. A bunch of young New York all-stars:
Brandee Younger, harp; Rashaan Carter, bass; E.J. Strickland, drums; Chelsea Baratz, tenor sax; Raydar Ellis, DJ; Sean Jones, trumpet.