Yasmeen's single In San Quentin: A Song for Tookie is a moving tribute to Stanley Tookie Williams, the former Crips co-founder who renounced gangs and devoted the last 15 years of his life to personal development and promoting life-affirming alternatives to the waste of violent criminal lives led by troubled youth.
In San Quentin deftly evokes Williams' personal journey, the moment in December 2005 his gathered supporters awaited the "midnight call" that never arrived, and the way the state silenced the voice of a dignified warrior for peace.
Yasmeen's recently completed sampler CD, Poetry in Motion, features her gifts for lyrical and melodic composition on socially aware themes as well as her powerful singing voice, a collection marking the arrival of one of today's most edgy and soulful singer-songwriters.
Filled with catchy hooks and bold messages, sung in her trademark timber and syncopated inflection, the collection ranges from the punk-influenced protest song In San Quentin: A Song for Tookie to several meditations on the turbulence of relationships. In the dreamy, exotic Bounds of My Love, for example, Yasmeen describes a by-the-sea tableau of missing someone, and nature's beauty in reminding her of it. The CD also includes the songs:
Home In Your Arms
After The Storm
Are Ya Satisfied
Like her nickname - Jaz, Yasmeen's songs (wonderously) blend the jazzy-cool hipness of Erykah Badu, the personal honesty of Tracy Chapman, the sultry sound of Sade, the punk attitude of Patti Smith, and the defiant political sensibility of Ani DeFranco.
Yasmeen produced and arranged the songs on her sampler CD with keyboard and guitar player Scott Baldyga, a former bandmate of Ziggy Marley. Backed by talented session players Taki (on bass and guitar), Chris Rice (on saxophone and flute), Rock Deadrick (on djembe and conga) and Bruce Zelesnik (on udu), the songs showcase Yasmeen’s unique combination of soulful melodies, poetic lyrics and vocal power.
In 2008, Yasmeen created and produced a collection of 8 new songs, and recently completed recording them in simple demo form at the suggestion of a music industry friend. In these new songs, Yasmeen further explores her fascination with personal relationships -- their psychology and dynamics -- from an honest, healthy feminine perspective, one that is both vulnerable and proud:
* In the song Desire's Like Candy a woman (light-heartedly) fights the temptation of involvement with a charismatic cerebral mystery man she is drawn to like catnip;
* That's All Gone is a heartrending meditation on a woman's permanently changed feelings toward a former lover; and
* I'm Gonna Be There gives catchy musical expression to a woman's soulful yearning to be reunited with the man she loves.
These and others on the demo display Yasmeen's priceless gifts for mixing message, melody, mood and syncopated delivery into a moveable feast for the ear, heart, mind and soul.
If it is true that poetry is strong emotion recollected in tranquility, and that the best songs are written, in Stevie Wonder’s phrase, in the “key of life” Yasmeen's songs are truly “poetry in motion.”
* click the 'listen up' link to hear song samples from Poetry in Motion, including single In San Quentin: A Song for Tookie.
Listen to In San Quentin: A Song For Tookiehi-fi - lo-fi
*You can order Yasmeen's cds or download entire mp3 by clicking on 'buy now,' and also email Yasmeen in the 'email' link.
Downloads on I-Tunes
* sign up as a friend at Yasmeenmyspace.com
Peace (& Music) B with U! -- Yasmeen