Moor Mother Releases Epic Jazz Album, “Jazz Codes”

Moor Mother, real name Came Ayewa, is one of the most creative, famous and versatile artists on today’s underground scene, even if she doesn’t make the kind of rap-influenced music that fuels the streaming charts today. His new album, Jazz Codes, has elements of hip hop but, as with every other genre in this record’s palette, the Philadelphia-based poet abstracts it and darkens it until it becomes another blurry detail in the mix. With free jazz as its base, Moor Mother’s latest record mixes jazz, hip-hop, blues, soul and poetry in an avant-garde and experimental way.

Many of these songs’ structures are long, loosely defined, and effectively bleed between them, but the strong lyrical themes and engaging instrumentation make Ayewa’s genre a wild and captivating journey back and forth.

The LP addresses racism, black identity, black history, political injustice, and the importance of black cultural contributions (like these musical genres on display) to the black experience. Additionally, the album’s increased emphasis on melody and chorus over previous Moor Mother work makes this album the perfect entry point for newcomers while giving long-time fans something to enjoy. another to remember. This album is also a companion to Ayewa’s 2021 album, Dark Encyclopedia of Airwhich received critical acclaim.

The album’s lyrical ideas are drawn from Black Quantum Futurism (BQF), a literary and artistic collective and set of ideological principles that Ayewa developed with fellow Philly artist and lawyer Rasheeda Phillips. The practice draws from quantum physics and black and African cultural traditions of consciousness, time and space and creates the art as “a new approach to living and experiencing reality through the manipulation of light. space-time in order to see into possible futures, and/or collapse space-time into a desired future in order to bring about the reality of that future,” according to their website.

Jazz Codes incorporates BQF into its composition and manipulation of electronic noise, in addition to commenting on the cycles of abuse, pain and violence in black communities that BQF aims to heal. With that in mind, Moor Mother’s story as an activist, poet and educator should come as no surprise. She is currently a professor at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California.

Collaborations are frequent on Jazz Codes, with all but one of the tracks featuring other musicians to build his sonic identity and diversity. For hip-hop fans, tracks like “ARMS SAVE,” “RAP JASM,” and “REAL TRILL HOURS” are sure to satisfy, especially if you’re a fan of more abstract hip-hop like MAVI or Billy Woods. (with whom Moor Mother made an album in 2020). There’s even a New York drill-type rhythm (albeit obscured and fuzzy) on the opening “UMZANSI”. “GOLDEN LADY” and “DUST TOGETHER” create sweet, gentle breaths, and the wild pair of “MEDITATION RAG” and “SO SWEET AMINA” bring out the album’s poetry and jazz influences in a subtly chaotic way.

Moor Mother continues to impress and stun with every release, and her new album Jazz Codes is a versatile and comprehensive image of his virtuous, expansive and powerful art.

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