Moor Mother Jazz Codes

Image: Samantha Isasian.

Moor Mother “Jazz Codes”

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Philly’s multi-genre, multi-talented Moor Mother releases “Jazz Codes” on the Anti Records record label.

Philadelphia conceptual artist, poet, rapper, composer, experimental musician, and stark, dark mistress of the avant-garde Moor Mother has been recording the sound of spontaneous combustion as soon as she put tones to tape on 2016’s “Fetish Bones”. With each passing recording and collaboration, by herself or as part of the Black Quantum Futurism collective, with saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, alone, and with his Art Ensemble of Chicago, and with Pittsburgh flautist, fellow conceptual artist Nicole Mitchell, Moor Mother strived and thrived, creating her own socio-political-driven brand of spoken word free jazz noise. With her newest album in contract with the Anti Records label, “Jazz Codes”, Moor Mother has softened her palate, a tad, in tribute to blues and jazz heroes such as Amina Claudia Myers and Woody Shaw, has taken up the flag of melody with strong choruses and structure and found the sound of vocal sweetness as if she discovered the Tree of Life.

Moor Mother "Jazz Codes"

Along with bringing in Nicole Mitchell once more, Moor Mother has welcomed a brand new and broader team of instrumental collaborators such as pianist Jason Moran, trumpeter Aquiles Navarro and harpist Mary Lattimore, to say nothing of free vocalists such as Wolf Weston, Orion Son, Melanie Charles and AKAI SOLO, to aid her in “Jazz Codes”’ melodic quest.

The game? None of Moor Mother’s collaborators heard each other’s takes before the recorded versions were completed. Instead, like a director stuck to his script, verbatim, only she knew what sparks could occur and acted as the focusing point among them, “finding affinities and synchronicities, braiding disparate pieces together into a reverberating whole.” Think of Moor Mother on “Jazz Codes”, then as a lightning rod to which all disparate strands of electricity had been directed.

“I’m trying to get rid of people’s timelines, to get rid of people’s doomsday calendars. This speeding through life and reality,” wrote Moor Mother for the new album’s press legend.

Moor Mother "Jazz Codes"

I think she got there. To further celebrate the release of Jazz Codes, Moor Mother dropped this conceptual video featuring “Wood Shaw,” “Barely Woke,” “Umanzi,” and “April 7”. Enjoy.


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