Leading up to the February 26th release of ‘Cover Art,’ we will be bringing you interviews with the musicians and previews of the songs each one arranged for the record, so check back with us often! Today we’ve got an interview with saxophonist Logan Richardson who arranged “Come Smoke My Herb” by Meshell Ndegeocello and “Twice” by Little Dragon for ‘Cover Art.”
Kenneth “Gizmo” Rodgers is releasing his highly anticipated debut album “Red Balloon” tomorrow and we’ve got the scoop on the recording process from the man who produced the record, the one and only Derrick Hodge. Read on below for the story on how they met and their process of working together.
Famed bass extraordinaire Victor Wooten has announced that he will be letting fans hear one song from his upcoming double album Sword and Stone and Words and Tones each day until the release on September 25th. Words and Tones contains 13 tracks featuring vocalists Saundra Williams, Divinity Roxx and Me’Shell Ndegeocello. Sword and Stone features instrumentals of those songs rearranged with more solos and different feels.
The Fats Waller Dance Party returns July 28th for a free concert at Annunciation Park on W. 135th and Amsterdam in Harlem. Jason Moran and Meshell Ndegeocello will be bringing their concept-concert back for a second year with more guests including a 5-piece band, a dance installation by Maija Garcia/Organic Magnetics, and opening acts including Amma Whatt, KimberlyNichole & Urban Word NYC as well as the I Love Vinyl DJ’s (Amir, Ge-ology, OP!, Scribe & Jon Oliver).
Jazz purists may be taken aback, but Glasper’s vision of melding the worlds of hip-hop, soul, and jazz is a thoughtful take on an idea that has been explored ad nauseum. Black Radio is Glasper’s vision of what the airwaves could sound like – a mixtape of sorts – that may not reignite a new movement to overtake popular radio as we know it today, but it’s a concept that should be applauded for a group of artists who believe in chops over charts.
This week the Highline Ballroom will be host to a two-night only live event featuring the Robert Glasper Experiment with guests from their explosive 2012 release, Black Radio. Tuesday 2/28 will feature the Experiment with special Guests Yasiin Bey, Chrisette Michele, Lalah Hathaway, and Bilal. Wednesday 2/29 will feature special guests Lupe Fiasco, Ledisi, and Meshell Ndegeocello. You never know who will show up to an Experiment show, these two nights are not to be missed!
Get excited for NPR’s First Listen of The Robert Glasper Experiment’s Black Radio. We’ve been waiting for a couple months to share this exciting piece of musical history with audiences around the world. From a track-by track analysis done by Glasper himself to frequent news updates, nothing beats the day you get to listen to the album in its entirety. Take 1 hour, 6 minutes, and 7 seconds (three times through if you have enough time) of your holiday Monday to give the album an listen-through.
Why did we choose Bitches Brew for the first “Issue?” When one of our brethrens at Revive was asked to sit on the panel at last year’s CMJ Music Marathon Week by the Miles Davis Estate to talk about the intersections between jazz and hip-hop and how it relates to Bitches Brew, we jumped out of our seats and said “yes, yes!” At last there was a camp, the Miles Davis Estate, that like ours, valued progressive jazz music beyond the confines of strict genre assignments. We respected what the estate was doing, connecting with young cats in different areas of popular culture, and outside of academic jazz circles, to revitalize the legacy of Miles Davis—and not just Miles Davis—but the eras of music that can be connected directly back to his influence.
From the manor in which esteemed industry veteran Don Was, the newly minted Chief Creative Officer of Blue Note Records, addressed the crowd of select industry types at New York City’s venerable Electric Lady Studios last week, it was evident that he was about to introduce a truly unique work of sonic art. “To do something new, something that’s never been heard before. That’s real hard to do,” Was remarked. “This is an album that really holds true to that aesthetic. It’s going to change the way people make records.” The album in question is piano virtuoso Robert Glasper’s upcoming fifth album Black Radio due out on Blue Note Records February 28, 2012 .
After the night was over, I was looking for more stuff to get into. It was so late, there was nothing else happening, but the show was so great that I didn’t want to stop listening to music. I wanted to keep going. So I went home and literally put on my headphones and kept rocking.
The Robert Glasper Experiment has announced that they will release their upcoming album entitled Black Radio on February 28, 2012. Thus far what we know about the album is that Glasper and his experimental-music mongers Casey Benjamin, Derrick Hodge, and Chris “Daddy” Dave will be joined by a slew of exciting guest performers including Erykah Badu, Bilal, Lupe Fiasco, Lalah Hathaway, Shafiq Husayn, KING, Ledisi, Chrisette Michele, Mos Def, Musiq Soulchild,Meshell Ndegeocello, and Stokley Williams. Forget what you thought you knew about the Experiment; this album is sure to bring the music to a new level.
Soul-pop-space-jazz monster Meshell Ndegeocello’s new album Weather is now streaming on NPR’s website. The album is heavy on slow, sultry jams that really do an amazing job at creating a heavy mood. Her output has been pretty varied throughout the years; her 2007 album Devil’s Halo was a little more produced & electronic based, but this record is more along on the lines of her 2003 reggae tinged lp Comfort Woman, which featured everybody’s favorite jazz-hip hop all star drummer Chris Dave, among others.
The concert started in an abrupt and satisfying manner with Jason Moran marching onto the stage declaring “Let’s play!” before he immediately began attacking the piano in his best Fats Waller imitation. The talented roster of musicians holding down the band soon followed suit. Yet, it wasn’t until Meshell marched out with the professional dancers that the party really got started.
In collaboration with the Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival, Ndegeocello is joining forces with pianist Jason Moran for the Fats Waller Dance Party, an evening dedicated to the music of Fats Waller and the dancing his music inspired. Waller was a popular piano player in the 1920′s and early 30′s who pioneered the stride piano technique. Stride piano borrowed the rhythm of ragtime but recast it into a more swinging, steadier beat, essentially laying the groundwork for modern jazz. In the 20s, jazz and dancing worked in tandem. Moran and Ndegeocello believe that they still should.
Looking back on the last forty years since the release of Bitches Brew, we have seen numerous generations of new musicians and artists coming up and making their individual, indelible marks on the world. Yet, certain things have that special spark, lingering around through the changes that time brings, altering the course of new artistry and serving as a guiding force for young artists. Bitches Brew continues to last the test of time guiding the likes of Nas, Wayne Coyne, Don Cheadle, Bill Cosby, and many more. Check out their take on how the album affected them accompanied by special edition Bitches Brew 40th Anniversary photos.
Wrapping up the Fall ’10 season at the Harlem Stage was the one night performance of “Off the Wall: A Michael Jackson Tribute.” Contrary to the plethora of Michael tribute shows out there, this group — including a tight group of young musicians and vocalists led by musical director and keyboardist Raymond Angry — sought to change up the feel, making the songs their own. It was less a cover show than a reinterpretation and homage to the songs that Michael brought to us throughout the years. Highlights included a swooning, emotional arrangement of “Billie Jean” by Chris Turner as well as numerous rearranged classic with the vocal prowess of the young stars blowing away the sol-out crowd.
Jesse Fischer grew up with parents of a mixed background… musically that is. With the classical influence of his father and more rock oriented influence of his mother, Jesse grew into something most musicians (and anyone for that matter) dream of; he is sensitive. Sensitive to other musicians and a sensitive multi-instrumentalist, but most of all sensitive to the music. It is rare to find a musician so in tune with his own ambitions and abilities as Jesse, so without further adieu, Jesse Fischer…