Prince has to be one of the most mysterious and intriguing people to ever present at the Grammy’s. From his attire to his demeanor he simply captivated the audience with zero small talk or fanfare (save for his cane). As our OKP family aptly stated, “No disrespect to JT, but no one does smooth and sexy like Prince.” What’s more is that with a new track out and a new website selling tracks and remixes, there will also be a Tribute Concert to Prince at Carnegie Hall curated by none other than our favorite Prince-fanatic — Questlove.
Before the Internet, I can imagine that the art of sampling was much more arcane. I wish I could speak from experience in this case, but I am a child of the Digital Age. My venture into hip-hop began well after global interconnectivity was established. We now live in a world where it is nearly impossible to not know the samples behind one’s favorite hip-hop or R&B record. With sites like WhoSampled.com and The-Breaks.com, one can look up a track and immediately find where all the track’s chops came from. This all comes complete with YouTube videos and Spotify links, and the exact time where one can find a sampled portion in an original track.
Just as the dust has begun to settle from the Robert Glasper Experiment’s monumental release, Black Radio, the group has announced yet another game-changer with Black Radio Recovered: The Remix EP where producers will be flipping some tracks from the album as well as some unreleased tunes. And when they say producers, this isn’t some standard line-up of producers. Confirmed to be attached to the project are ?uestlove, 9th Wonder, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Pete Rock, with contributions from rappers Black Milk and Phonte, The Roots, and vocalist Solange Knowles.
Five-time Grammy nominee Joe Jackson has brought together a very different group of musicians to help him reinterpret 15 Duke Ellington tracks (compiled into 10 for the album) on his forthcoming tribute album entitled The Duke. “Ellington didn’t consider his own arrangements to be sacred,” Jackson notes. “He constantly reworked them, sometimes quite radically. So I think my approach is in the spirit of the man himself.”
The Revivalist caught up with the enchanting nia andrews during this month’s installment of CHURCH NYC where she was collaborating with Mark de Clive-Lowe on material from his latest release, Renegades. From being a roadie for the the Roots to becoming Common’s assistant and collaborator, andrews has led a long and unconventional road to becoming the vocalist she is today. Check out our interview for insight into her journey, the never-ending process that is vocal artistry, and more!
As 2011 closes and we begin to recap the year’s events, check out Vol.4 of the CHURCH mixtape series. MdCL’s CHURCH is a monthly clubnite event held in LA and NYC as well as a corresponding mixtape series. Check below for the mixtape and a Revivalist exclusive list of MdCL’s Top 10 Influential Recordings.
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.
Ramble John Krohn, better known to the world as RJD2, has been a fixture on the international music scene for well over 10 years now, writing and performing music in a constantly evolving style. Hip hop, rock, soul, soundtracks; you name it, this DJ, singer, and multi instrumentalist has more than likely done it. A relentless workhorse, he is not only consistently recording and touring, but after being on two of the most lauded indie labels of the past few decades (Def Jux and XL Recordings), he now heads his own, appropriately titled RJ’s Electrical Connections.
It was the era that produced Bilal Sayeed Oliver; a man who grew from progeny of the church to prodigy of the jazz circuit well before getting a good grip on life as a freshman at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts; a factory of local talent that boasts Boyz II Men and The Roots amongst notable alumni. Philadelphia is a strange town, amongst few others across the nation, including Washington D.C. and New Orleans, where children still learn to play instruments despite the non-existent budget for arts and culture in schools.
Congratulations to Mark Kelley on his new gig as the bassist for the Roots! As Owen Biddle leaves to focus on his own projects, Mark will be taking over his duties on the low-end for the Roots. Mark’s career has previously included stints with Meshell Ndegeocello, Jason Moran, Roy Hargrove, Nicholas Payton, and Christian McBride among many others. We look forward to watching Mark’s progress and involvement with the Roots crew.
Ya’ll know what time it is and if you find yourself stuck indoors because of Irene’s unwelcome presence this weekend, here is some stuff to help the time pass.
I told him, “Man, I’m not trying to make any money, I’m just having fun.” He told me that with my voice and talent, I should be making money doing it. But it came in one side and kind of just hung up there somewhere. Then when I was 18, he called me up and said that I had to write a song. I was like yeah right, because at that time I was preparing to be an All-American basketball player. I laughed about it but didn’t pursue it. He called back a few more times, each with more urgency and persuasion. Finally he told me he had made a bet that he could cut a record as good as a Motown record that we’d have on the radio within three months. He had seen a commercialism in me that I had not even seen. I just knew that people would shout, clap, and yell “Yay Mike” when I sang at the jazz supper clubs.
Bajah and the Dry Eye Crew members, Bajah, Dovy Dovy, and A-Klazz still have an air of love and gratitude that they exude in their everyday lives and certainly in their music, despite living in conflict for over a decade. The Revivalist spent an afternoon at Photo Rob’s studio, for a fun shoot with the guys, as we picked their brains about bearing witness to war, the initial culture shock of moving to the United States, and how their music has affected change in their communities.
I’ve often wondered what it would be like to hear Coltrane live. I’ve played Giant Steps upwards of a thousand times digitally, but it’s not exactly the same. It’s sort of like trying to compare the synthetic chill of air conditioning to a cool summer breeze on a sunny afternoon. It’s a matter of authenticity. And that’s the inherent beauty of live music. All those in attendance are privy to a moment so unique that it can only happen once. In this, the modern age of media piracy, the last remaining vestiges of musical irreplaceability lies within live music.
Producers Jeff Baraka and Cam Be have released a mini-documentary about the rise of the Roots entitled Legendary: A Film About The Roots produced by.
This has been a pretty good year for the Portland star Esperanza Spalding, and now things are coming full circle for the young protege with one of the most sought out nods of success for an artist: a chance at a Grammy. Also special congrats to Bilal, The Roots and the Stanley Clarke Band (featuring Ruslan Sirota on keys, Ronald Bruner Jr. on drums and special guest Hiromi Uehara on piano), and Marcus Miller on their Grammy Nominations.