Spirits of the Songs
Bounce mp3 sample clip
Bounce is the original composition on this album. I adapted it from my jazz-rap collaboration with Harlem-rapper Hotlinkz. One day I was locked out of my apartment in NYC, when Hotlinkz (passing by on the street) noticed my saxophone case. We started talking and he invited me to his producer’s studio. The melodic theme of bounce comes from the music we recorded that day. My band provides an acid-jazz based background for the adaptation.
There are some great jazz hip-hop projects today. One in particular would be Roy Hargrove’s neo-soul collaboration called the RH Factor. On his latest album (also with the Verve record label) Q-Tip from a Tribe Called Quest appears along with Common, D’Angelo and Erykah Badu. This album is one of the first to feature key rap and R&B figures with jazzmen.
Jazz is in need of a face-lift, and I feel that a mixture of hip-hop beats and lyrics could really advance the music. The two genres are very similar. Jazz and rap are both African-American cultural developments and the histories of each music can be compared in order to predict stylistic shifts. For example, right now hip-hop is only 25 years old. It is in the bebop phase moving into hard-bop when considering the jazz viewpoint.
There are several generations already that can be accounted for hip-hop, where as jazz is in the end phase where musicians are free to pick a certain style or era to mimic. The only thing that could be done for the development of new jazz would be the embracement of multi-disciplinary collaborations with other contemporary music such are rap, R&B, rock, reggae, etc. This is where the future of the music will be developed.
There was a great XXL magazine cover that had a picture of hip-hop musicians standing together just like the ‘great day in Harlem’ jazz photo. Journalists have written about the two types of music as though they are coming from the same traditional background. If this is the case, then we can re-examine jazz to predict new trends in hip-hop. And therefore we can also make the macro historical statement that jazz was the music of one generation of Americans, and hip-hop is the music of another.