Jazz Codes

Moor Mother - Jazz Codes
Critic Score
Based on 8 reviews
2022 Ratings: #107 / 514
User Score
Based on 177 ratings
2022 Ratings: #207
Liked by 11 people
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Spectrum Culture

On Jazz Codes, jazz becomes a time machine to visit the past, present, future of visionary Black art and music.

Loud and Quiet

Jazz Codes sees Ayewa’s artistic antenna picking up some especially serene signals. These 20 sprawling tracks are built around production by the Falmouth-based Olof Melander, leaning on loose, textured jazz and soulful contemporary hip hop.


Jazz Codes is one of Ayewa's most ambitious works yet. Her lyrics reference the entire history of revolutionary Black music, celebrating the legacies of important artists while keeping a focus on the road ahead.

The Guardian
What started life as a poetry book has evolved into an ambitious anthropological project spanning jazz, R&B, hip-hop and more.
On her second solo album in nine months, the experimental poet and musician grapples with Black musical histories and “the work of memory.”

With her last album titled “Black Encyclopaedia of the Air”. Moor Mother had changed her style to a more mellow and accessible sound. She even joked about it being her “sell-out album”. This record is basically a continuation of that. But with more jazz, soul and blues influence. I gotta say I like this one better, it’s definitely more consistent. The sound here is so relaxing it’s a complete vibe. I wish there weren’t any skits or interludes though, ... read more


I think this one might be a grower. Moor Mother's poetry is as dense (albeit pretentious) as usual but the jazzy instrumentals and layered vocal melodies were especially intricate this time round. They sound less like abstract jazz-tinged hip-hop and a little more like expansive avant-garde jazz soundscapes, leaving more space for Moor Mother's poetry to cut through.

Favourite Tracks: Umzansi, April 7th, Golden Lady, Ode to Mary, Woody Shaw, Meditation Rag, So Sweet Amina, Rap Jasm*, Blues ... read more


This is like experiencing the history of jazz in one long, winding, beautiful composition. The instrumental arrangements are lush and elegant, and the features really add to the jazz rap/neo soul elements of the album. I need MOOR of this ahahahahah


Very unique album, the instrumentals were the clear highlight.


i feel like this album is lacking a little bit compared to the rest of her discography but that isn't really saying much bc this is still great


Moor Mother’s Jazz Codes is a really good concept record with amazing production and poetry, but it falls in a common trap for concept records: there isn’t enough sticking track outside of maybe the lead singles. The record flows very well but there is a lack of song structure and engaging performance especially in the first half of the record. Other than that, a lot of the features bring something original and fun to each track. Some were a bit underwhelming, but Moor ... read more

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Added on: June 8, 2022