Dezron Douglas & Brandee Younger – “The Creator Has A Master Plan” (Pharoah Sanders & Leon Thomas Cover)

Dezron Douglas & Brandee Younger – “The Creator Has A Master Plan” (Pharoah Sanders & Leon Thomas Cover)

Back in the spring, when New York went under a shelter-in-place order to combat COVID-19, Harlem-based bassist Dezron Douglas and harpist Brandee Younger started a weekly webcast from their living room, playing songs and collecting digital tips. Force Majeure: Brunch In The Crib With Brandee & Dezron was named for force majeure clauses, provisions in contracts that allow promoters not to pay performers in the event of a disaster or act of God. It’s the reason Coachella, for instance, won’t have to pay its 2020 lineup due to the pandemic.

Douglas and Younger recorded those performances using a single microphone, and they’ve archived the best of them into a new album called Force Majeure. Dropping in December on International Anthem, it’s their first release as a duo. There are a few originals and quite a bit of banter, but mostly Force Majeure comprises covers of greats such as John and Alice Coltrane, Sesame Street composer Joe Raposo, Sting, Kate Bush, Clifton Davis, and Thom Bell and Linda Creed. The lead single is a warm and inviting cover of Pharoah Sanders and Leon Thomas’ “The Creator Has A Master Plan.” Due to its homespun nature, the track has a spare, tender intimacy quite different from the fleshed-out jazz sound of Douglas’ recent solo single “Cobra.”

A statement from Douglas:

We vowed to become a part of the resiliency of this city. You can take the work away, but you can’t stop musicians from being creative. Live streaming is just a part of it. The world as a whole saw that arts & entertainment is an integral and vital part of this “service” city. We, musicians and creatives, are as essential to this city as the MTA is.

Listen below.

01 “Coffee (intro)”
02 “Gospel Trane” (Alice Coltrane)
03 “Equinox” (John Coltrane)
04 “The Creator Has A Master Plan” (Pharoah Sanders / Leon Thomas)
05 “Sing” (Joe Raposo)
06 “You Make Me Feel Brand New” (Thom Bell / Linda Creed)
07 “We’ll Be Right Black”
08 “Never Can Say Goodbye” (Clifton Davis)
09 “This Woman’s Work” (Kate Bush)
10 “Nothing Stupid”
11 “Inshallah” (Sting)
12 “Wise One” (John Coltrane)
13 “Force Majeure”
14 “Toilet Paper Romance” (Brandee Younger / Dezron Douglas)
15 “Flatten the Curve (outro)”

Force Majeure is out 12/4 on International Anthem. Pre-order it here.

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