Hip-Hop for the Jazz head


In my mind it all starts with Guru’s Jazzmatazz series.  A collection of 4 albums released over a 15 year span, Jazzmatazz is the definitive collection of Jazz Rap.  With a wide array of jazz musicians including saxophonist Branford Marsalis, trumpeter Donald Byrd, vibraphonist Roy Ayers, guitarist Ronny Jordan, and keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith, Jazzmatazz volume 1 set the stage for bands  like the Roots to fully explore traditional hip hop tracks with a full backing band.

here is the full Jazzmatazz volume 1 album…


Whether it be his involvement in the transformitive powers of A tribe called quest or his producing roles with Kurt Rosenwinkle or Esperanza Spalding, Q-tip continues to be a relevant and vibrant element in the continuing co-opting of jazz into hip-hop.

Here is Roy Hargrove’s RH factor // Poetry // featuring> Q-tip and Erykah Badu

Roy Hargrove’s RH Factor is playing the Toronto Jazz Festival this year. He’s gonna kill it.

Robert Glasper

We at Jazzfeast have written and shared a lot of Robert Glasper Experiment in the past month and with good reason. Black Radio which was released earlier this year is a knockout album that has transfixed the mainstream hip-hop, R&B, and soul communities while bringing jazz back into the mainstream. As Thom Jurek at allmusic.com puts it,

The album is a seamless, deeply focused meld of jazz, hip-hop, adult contemporary R&B, neo-soul, even rock, with an expansive use of rhythmic and melodic invention; all of it surrounded by spacious, natural-sounding production that’s smooth, never slick. The various elements yield the desired result: making the whole greater than its parts

We’re pretty excited that the Robert Glasper Experiment is playing the Toronto Jazz Fest this year.

Here is the title track off Black Radio // f. Yasiin Bey


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