Beverly Glenn-Copeland Details First Album in 20 Years 'The Ones Ahead'

Listen to lead single "Africa Calling"

BY Allie GregoryPublished May 15, 2023

Having revisited his seminal 1986 record with Keyboard Fantasies Reimagined in 2021 and having his life explored in the Posy Dixon-directed documentary Keyboard Fantasies, 79-year-old Beverly Glenn-Copeland has revealed plans to release his first new album of original material in 20 years, The Ones Ahead — out July 28 via Transgressive.

Recorded in collaboration with producer John Herbermann and Indigo Rising, the record is previewed today by lead single "Africa Calling," which honours Glenn-Copeland's West African heritage. He explained:

In the '80s I had the honour of performing with an incredible artist named Dido, a master of the drums indigenous to West Africa. The beauty of this drumming tradition is explored in "Africa Calling." Over the years, in many conversations, I have come to understand that I share an undefinable, unnamed feeling — a calling — with many other members of the African diaspora, a bone-deep need to explore and express our heritage. Alongside the grief, there is a longing to know our roots, hidden from us as family lines were torn apart in the terrible days of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. In a world still caught in the ties of colonialism, I know I am not alone in needing to heed the call of this generations-old longing.

The album is further said to cast "searching light into how all of us must dissolve the harms of this world and carry each other forward into the next," blending everything from American jazz to Irish fiddle songs to West African percussion. Glenn-Copeland employed the "Universal Broadcasting System" in writing the album, which finds him receiving "transmissions from the vibrations of the world around him and faithfully transcribing them."

He elaborated, "The UBS sends what it wants, and like a good servant, I listen and write what I am given."

Check out "Africa Calling" below, where you'll also find the album's tracklist. 

The Ones Ahead:

1. Africa Calling
2. Harbour (Song for Elizabeth)
3. Love Takes All
4. People of the Loon
5. Stand Anthem
6. The Ones Ahead
7. Prince Caspian's Dream
8. Lakeland Angel
9. No Other

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