Hip Hop to Jazz: The First Weekend of November

November 8, 2016

The first weekend of November 2016. A weekend that will be forever etched in the memory of the Sistas. Three albums from artists of both the old and new generations, dropped three albums that in our opinion, have released a spark of love and hunger for NEW REAL music to masses across the genres of Jazz, Soul and Hiphop collectively.

 

 

 

Black America Again - Common 

 

Common, the self proclaimed Tupac Deepak Chopra of today, decided to release his album purposely prior to the American elections as a call to action. "Black America Again" was only meant to be an EP release, yet soon developed into an album that addressed today's confrontational and emotionally stirring issues. Through moody jazz filled, gospel driven, classic beat productions (by non other than producer/Jazz drummer Karriem Riggins), "Black America Again" sits side by side to a few hiphop/soul politically driven albums of late (Kendrick Lamar’s 'To Pimp A Butterfly', D’Angelo’s 'Black Messiah' and most recently, Solange’s 'A Seat At The Table') having all captured shades of the emotional state of black America's history and today. "I think hip-hop truly has been the voice of this time period in speaking of the times." Common

 

 

Let's Take a Trip - Tall Black Guy 

 

Tall Black Guy finally dropped the long awaited album "Let's Take a Trip" after a 3 year wait by his fans. It's a personal journey into his current situation, with an earful of jazzy chords and soulful melodies, alongside vulnerability, anger and hope for better days to come. To the listener, the warm tones of the Rhodes, the lyrical horn loops and the many collaborations with both new producers and singers/rappers, together bring "new colour, new dimension & new music" from TBG. "..on a brief, a much needed withdrawal from real life" is how he explained his journey through the making of the album. "A brief escape from reality, as it is an adventure into the sonic supernova that resides in Tall Black Guy's cranium" - Okayplayer.

 

 

 

Black Focus - Yussef Kamaal 

 

Since given a platform to perform at a small Jazz bar in London's west late 2014, drummer Yussef Dayes and keyboardist Kamaal Williams quickly started grabbing attention with their broken beat approach to playing Jazz. In the states, the genre’s long-running back and fourth with hip hop has helped re-imagine it within US culture. On their album "Black Focus", Yussef Kamaal frame jazz as the "bass-saturated, pirate radio broadcasts of London". It's filled with funky jams, spacey grooves, heavy trumpet,  beats of 'drum and bass', touches of beautiful synths and warm Rhodes chords to finish it with a bow. They have both had little in the way of formal training and instead are indebted to Thelonious Monk’s unorthodox piano playing style and the (broken beat) drum programming of Kaidi Tatham.  “It's not so much about complete arrangement, it's more about flow,” Yussef Dayes.

 

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