With You’re Dead, Flying Lotus Puts a Nail in the Jazz/Hip Hop Intersection

My next installment of challenging the oft-declared "jazz/hip hop intersection" takes on Flying Lotus's 2014 album You're Dead. You're Dead—which features an impressive list of musicians including Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Herbie Hancock, Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner, and Kamasi Washington—is the end result of Flying Lotus's seamless amalgamation of myriad stylistic influences. The album is adventurous, …

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Karriem Riggins and the “Intersection” between Jazz and Hip Hop

A lot has been made recently of jazz artists working with rappers and hip hop producers, especially folks like Kamasi Washington and Robert Glasper's work with Flying Lotus and Kendrick Lamar. A key focus of jazz critics and journalists writing about these musicians is the "intersection" of jazz and hip hop as if the two …

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Last Batch of Favorites of 2014 & Thoughts on the NPR Poll

Happy 2015 folks. Even though the new year is already a few days old there's already more than a few excellent releases to look forward to in 2015. I'm particularly stoked about the live album from Jack DeJohnette/Roscoe Mitchell/Henry Threadgill/Muhal Richard Abrams/Larry Gray that is coming out on ECM shortly. But I'm getting ahead of …

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My Top Ten Bucket-List Jazz Albums

A few weeks ago a former professor of mine shared an article on Facebook from the Village Voice that listed the Ten Jazz Albums to Hear Before You Die. Usually it seems like the "ten whatevers you need to do/visit/read/listen before you die" lists are things that people probably haven't done, are not likely to …

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Get Hip! Fast: Astell&Kern Blue Note 75th Anniversary Package

Among the many different products celebrating Blue Note's 75th Anniversary (or perhaps capitalizing upon is a better way to put it) is the Astell & Kern Blue Note 75th Anniversary Package.  When I got the press release I was curious, so I clicked on the link and here's what the package includes: -75 Blue Note …

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It’s Not about Cyrille Aimee’s Eyes and Curls

I recently got a press release for singer Cyrille Aimee's new album that featured the following blurb: "When you see Cyrille Aimée perform, you instantly fall in love with her—her voice, eyes, curls and the joyful spirit she invests in each song." The quote comes from a 2013 interview with Aimee by the singer Roseanna …

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