Composer, songwriter, vocalist Moor Mother aka Camae Ayewa, recently dropped her full-length Jazz Codes, her second and latest album for Anti- and a companion to her celebrated 2021 release Black Encyclopedia of the Air. To celebrate the release Ayewa has released a long form video featuring four songs from the record – “Wood Shaw,” “Barely Woke,” “Umanzi,” and “April 7”. Directed by Cyrus Moussavi. This summer Moor Mother will be performing at Montreal Jazz Festival and various European festivals; she will also be headlining an album release show at Los Angeles’s Resident on July 8.
Jazz Codes sprung from a book of poems by the same name, a collection of poems written in honor of jazz and blues icons like Woody Shaw, Amina Claudine Myers, and Mary Lou Williams. In a shift from the noise-inflected sound of her previous albums, she began writing songs with R&B sweetness, songs that asked for singers to accompany her raps and spoken word transmissions. She sought out a roster of far-flung collaborators to help them bloom.
Working virtually, Ayewa drew in instrumentalists, like flutist Nicole Mitchell and harpist Mary Lattimore, and vocalists, like Melanie Charles and AKAI SOLO, into the album’s growing space. On “ODE TO MARY,” Ayewa’s spoken poetry tangles with Orion Sun’s fluttering vocal ad-libs and Jason Moran’s dizzying piano lines. “SO SWEET AMINA” lets Aquiles Navarro’s trumpet cast its glow onto ripples of Wolf Weston’s searching voice. None of Ayewa’s collaborators heard each other’s takes before the songs were completed. She acted as the focusing point among them, finding affinities and synchronicities, braiding disparate pieces together into a reverberating whole.
“I’m trying to get rid of people’s timelines, to get rid of people’s doomsday calendars—this speeding through life and reality,” she says.
1. UMZANSI (feat Black Quantum Futurism featuring Mary Lattimore)
2. APRIL 7th (feat Keir Neuringer)
3. GOLDEN LADY (feat Melanie Charles)
4. JOE MCPHEE NATION TIME INTRO (feat Keir Neuringer)
5. ODE TO MARY (feat Orion Sun & Jason Moran)
6. WOODY SHAW (feat Melanie Charles)
7. MEDITATION RAG (feat Aquiles Navarro & Alya Al Sultani)
8. SO SWEET AMINA (feat Justmadnice & Keir Neuringer)
9. DUST TOGETHER (feat Wolf Weston & Aquiles Navarro)
10. RAP JASM (feat AKAI SOLO & Justmadnice)
11. BLUES AWAY (feat Fatboi Sharif)
12. BLAME (feat Justmadnice)
13. ARMS SAVE (feat Nicole Mitchell)
14. REAL TRILL HOURS (feat Yung Morpheus)
15. EVENING (feat Wolf Weston)
16. BARELY WOKE (feat Wolf Weston)
17. NOISE JISM
18. THOMAS STANLEY JAZZCODES OUTRO (feat Irreversible Entanglements & Thomas Stanley)
19. BLACK HONEY (feat. Loijj & Honeychile) (bonus track)
20. WE GOT THE JAZZ (feat. Kyle Kidd, Keir Neuringer, Aquiles Navarro) (bonus track)
21. BLACK DUST BLUES (feat. Elaine Mitchener) (bonus track)
Moor Mother 2022 Tour Dates
6/30 – Roskilde, Denmark – Roskilde Festival
7/2 – Budapest, Hungary – Kolorado Festival
7/4 – Montreal, Canada – Montreal Jazz Fest
7/8 – Los Angeles, CA – Resident
8/10 – Berlin, Germany – A L’larme! X Berlin 10
9/8 – Wiltshire, UK – End of the Road Festival
Order Jazz Codes by Moor Mother HERE