Month: August 2011

Donald Byrd – Kofi (Blue Note) (1969)

Donald Byrd’s 1969 album “Kofi” is an early introduction to Jazz Fusion, as it covers many different sub-genres of Jazz,

Michael Jackson – King of Jazz

There is an alternate universe in which Michael Jackson is the King of Jazz. This is something of which I am quite sure.

Roy Ayers Quartet – Comin’ Home Baby (Review) (Audio) (1969)

Our first installment of Roy Ayers Friday is one of Roy’s earlier recordings and also one of his first albums as a front man.

Lonnie Liston Smith – Give Peace A Chance (Multiple Versions) (1975/1980)

Recorded years apart, this one song has crossed multiple genres, but the spiritual message remains constant.

Thundercat – The Golden Age of Apocalypse

Whether it’s trunk-rattling bass from Oakland’s newest rapper or the the mellow sensations of beachfront jazz, California has an undeniable charm. This appeal comes from a long lineage of gifted artists ranging from Roy Ayers to the Pharcyde. Few, however capture this essence quite like musician Thundercat.

Dissecting Jay-Z’s “Dead Presidents” (Audio) (1995)

Forgotten by pop critics and revered by true fans, Jay-Z’s “Dead Presidents” is monumental in more ways than one.

Nesby Phips & Ski Beatz – Blue in Green (Video) (2010)

If you don’t understand the relevancy of Kind of Blue today, allow me to introduce you to the sounds of Nesby Phips and Ski Beatz.

Common – Come Close Remix (Prod. by Dilla) (Audio) (2002)

The Come Close remix may be the greatest Hip Hop ballad that you don’t know about.

Golden Era Remixes – Mixed by DJ Haylow (Mixtape) (Download)

DJ Haylow mixes an ode to rare remixes and b-sides that can only be synonymous with Hip Hop’s golden era.

George Benson – Bad Benson (1974)

Bad Benson is George Benson at his best. Pure guitar smoothness, mixed with an accompaniment of electronic and traditional instrumentation, this album has been revered by Hip Hop producers far and wide. Most people know Benson for his 80’s pop hits, which we all love, but in the 70’s, he was a master at jazz fusion and traditional jazz. It must also be noted that Ron Carter blessed this album with his magnificent bass, because he is Jazz’s stamp of approval! Here is the rest of the personnel and instrumentation from this album (via CD Universe):
George Benson (guitar); John Frosk, Alan Rubin, Joe Shepley (trumpet); Jim Buffington, Brooks Tillotson (French horn); Wayne Andre, Garbett Brown, Warren Covington, Paul Faulise (trombone); George Marge (flute, piccolo, English horn); Al Regni (flute, clarinet); Phil Bodner (alto flute, English horn, clarinet); Ray Beckenstein (flute); Seymour Barab, Frank Levy, Jesse Levy, Charles McCracken, Alan Shulman, Paul Tobias (cello); Margaret Ross (harp); Kenny Barron (piano); Phil Upchurch (guitar, bass, percussion); Ron Carter (bass); Steve Gadd (drums).

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Columbia Nights – Stormy Weather (Audio)

The art of covering is a complicated endeavor. It has the ability to alienate fans of the original artists, whilst creating a concrete standard of comparison. Most importantly, it demands an artist to be innovative using a product that already exists.

Pete Rock & Jazzy Jeff inspired by George Benson

George Benson is one of Jazz’s most prolific guitarists, but when it comes to Hip Hop producers, he is considered one of the most influential.

Roy Ayers Project Beat Submission Compilation, Vol. 1 (Download)

Producers from all over the world have contributed to making the beat submission process a success. Here are all of our highlighted beat submissions from the last four months, available for download.

(Re)defining Amy Winehouse

Our newest blogger for 70/30 ( is editorial writer Paul Pennington, and in this article, he reflects and redefines the road of a great musical talent who recently lost her battle with addiction.