The 27-year old phenom Jazzmeia Horn performed tonight at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts. With her was a top-notch trio that included Victor Gould on piano, Barry Stephenson on bass, and Henry Conerway III on drums.
Horn has already received widespread recognition as the 2015 winner of the Thelonious Monk International Vocal Competition and the 2013 Sarah Vaughn International Jazz Competition. Along the way, Horn has performed with Junior Mance, Billy Harper, Delfeayo Marsalis, and Ellis Marsalis, among others. She counts as her primary influence the incomparable Sarah Vaughn, but she has also been exposed to many jazz singers, including Betty Carter and Nancy Wilson.
What we heard and witnessed tonight was an exercise in vocal gymnastics. Much of the 90-minute set was devoted to scat stylings and vocalise. Horn’s voice exudes energy. Along the way, we heard a nice ballad and a Marvin Gaye staple, as well as some excellent work by her trio.
While I am certainly no expert when it comes to singing—anybody who has heard me sing will quickly attest to that fact—I would recommend that Horn introduce a few more conventional stylings to her set. I suspect that she will naturally gravitate in that direction as she ages. That is not to say she should abandon the vocalise, but simply reduce its prominence. As Sonny Rollins learned long ago while standing on the Williamsburg Bridge practicing his horn, less is often more. No doubt, however, that Horn has a long career ahead of her.
[Click on an image to enlarge it]
Victor Gould (P), Barry Stephenson (B), and Henry Conerway III (D)
Barry Stephenson Relaxes
Victor Gould on Piano
Henry Conerway III on Drums
A Moment of Reflection
Asymmetric Back to Back
Photographer’s Notes: The lighting was quite good tonight. I was able to shoot at 800 ISO. Normally, the lighting in the Logan Center is darker, which means I am usually shooting at 3200 ISO.
You gotta love it when the headliner wears such a colorful and visually pleasing outfit. Nevertheless, getting Horn’s skin tones right was tricky. The yellow dress, yellow stage lights, and the warm wood resulted in too much yellow in her skin tones. It was necessary to adjust the blue and red curves to arrive at what I hope is a more accurate skin tone.