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