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Denton Black Film Festival

Jazzmeia Horn dazzles with her signature free-form scat singing in a homecoming show

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12:26 PM on Jan 24, 2020

 

DENTON — Anyone who’s listened to Jazzmeia Horn’s first two albums knows she’s one of jazz’s most dazzling vocalists. Yet until you see her onstage, it’s hard to fathom just how provocative her scat singing really is.

The Dallas-raised, New York-based Horn finally let hometown fans see what they’ve been missing Thursday night at Texas Woman’s University’s Margo Jones Performance Hall. The show — part of the Denton Black Film Festival — marked her first Dallas-Fort Worth concert since 2017, when she launched her career with the Grammy-nominated debut album A Social Call.

She skipped over songs from that album and focused on originals from her second album, Love and Liberation, which is up for best jazz vocal album at Sunday’s Grammy Awards show. No matter what song Horn sang, she used it as a starting point for long, thrilling flights of wordless vocalizing. She came off like the Jimi Hendrix of scat, reinventing her instrument and cooking up a whole new lexicon.

Pianist Keith Brown, bassist Tyrone Allen and drummer Anwar Marshall had the difficult task of trying to keep pace with her free-form scatting. But they pulled it off perfectly, mostly by staying back and giving her ample room to explore.

Jazzmeia Horn is an ebullient performer, who performed songs from her newest album, "Love and Liberation."
Jazzmeia Horn is an ebullient performer, who performed songs from her newest album, “Love and Liberation.”(Kara Dry / Special Contributor)

And explore she did —

 

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