Something Else Radio!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Jazz State of Mind (Something Else! 7/1/10 on WTNR Radio.com)


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After the ubiquitous "Something Else! Intro," we launch into "jazz mode" with seasonally appropriate "Beach Bar" by Boris Blenn. In summer, beach bars (aka chiringuitos here) are all the rage in Spain. One very famous xiringuito (alternate spelling) is Cafe Del Mar in Ibiza. "Average Fruit" by Quadron is a nice vocal track that wouldn't be out of place on a Cafe Del Mar compilation but you can find it here. James Dewitt Yancey, bka as Jay Dee, J Dilla or even just Dilla left indelible fingerprints on the sound of current music, not just hiphop. The list of people he's worked with is longer than most artists' list of influences. The info sheet I got from label Organik with the next track, "Castlevania" by SirOJ refers to him as one of "...rising post J Dilla era producers" and the track itself as "...homage to one of our favorite Nintendo video games." Classic video game + fat beats = dopeness, in my book. "Enuff feat. Lateef the Truth Speaker & Q-Tip" by DJ Shadow is a track that is probably better appreciated now than when it came out a few years ago. Shadow lives in the San Francisco Bay area and an underground style that gained a lot of popularity there in the hiphop community was "hyphy" (combines the words "hype" + "fly.") Some people I knew who were fans of this sound didn't like DJ Shadow's album The Outsider which incorporates hyphy into his music, but I think this track works well as just a party track. "Just Bring It Out (Andy Smith & Scott Hendy Remix)" by Wolfgang Dauner from Jazz Club: Jazz Remixed brings it back to the old days of party djs cutting it up on turntables featuring Mr. Boca 45 (Scott Hendy) and Portishead's Dj, Andy Smith. Speaking of "old days," a common practice dating back to the early days of records was to cover current hits. "Tour De France" by 10 Speed is a fun take on Kraftwerk's 80s classic. The version I play is an edit from a breakdancing compilation, but you can find the full-length version (along with Kraftwerk's original) at the I-Tunes store. "Treat 'Em Right" by Chubb Rock is another party favorite and has a good message to boot! As we all know, especially in financial situations like the present, "It's Nice To Have Money." DJ Smash provides a jazzy house groove to go along with an amusing vocal sample in this acid-jazz classic. Visiting the Classics is the name of the compilation that includes "Involvation" by Jeff Bennett. I like a few of the tracks, but usually when I see the word "classics" I expect to recognize either artists or track names on a few cuts--no such luck, here. In contrast, "It Don't Mean A Thing" is the classic Duke Ellington song, but in this case performed by Space Jazz Dub Men and remixed by Incognito. This track and the next are both from Jazz Club: Jazz Remixed, like the Wolfgang Dauner track earlier. "Feel (Spacek Remix)" by George Duke betrays a bit of Dilla influence as might be expected by someone who worked with him (Jay Dee produced Steve Spacek's "Dollar.") Closing out, "Plastic Idols" by Jean-Luc Ponty gives us some "cyber jazz" in its original version--i.e., not remixed--from Ponty's Fables an album from 1985.
Jazzyness this week, who knows what's up for next week?

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