Jazzmeia Horn makes big-band debut with new album Dear Love

Grammy-nominated vocalist Jazzmeia Horn‘s new album Dear Love is her first recording with a big band.

According to a media release, Horn’s third recording “brims with the combination of her assured delivery and spoken word segments, deft arrangements and fiery musical ideas.”

For Dear Love, Horn put together a 15-piece ensemble called Noble Force. The band revolves around her regular rhythm section — pianist Keith Brown, bassist Eric Wheeler and drummer Anwar Marshall — along with leadership from alto saxophonist Bruce Williams.

The first single from the album is Lover, Come Back to Me. The tune is a popular standard first published in 1928, and best known for versions by Billie Holiday in the ’40s and Barbra Streisand in the ’60s.

The album follows Horn’s two widely praised albums A Social Call and Love and Liberation, both of which earned Grammy nominations for best jazz vocal album.

Before then, Horn had won top honours at the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition and the 2015 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition. More recently, her song Where Is Freedom!? won first place in the performance category of the 2020 International Songwriting Competition.

Over the past year, Horn released the single Where We Are and published a book titled Strive From Within: The Jazzmeia Horn Approach.

Horn says she approached Dear Love with the object of writing and selecting songs that would expound on her unique personal experiences while also leaving the door open for anyone to relate to them.

“I tried to figure out how the songs can be in alignment with what’s true to me and what’s true in my reality as a Black woman, but then also be relatable to anyone who’s not part of my culture,” Horn says. “I went through my list of charts and said, ‘OK, which of these songs really speaks to love in multiple ways — love for my community, love for my culture, love for my partner, love for my children, love for myself. Which one of these songs is going to speak on all of those different things?’ These songs are love letters to everyone.”

Dear Love arrives Sept. 10 via Empress Legacy Records.

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