Month: November 2011

Erykah Badu’s Most Profound Song

Over 10 years later, Bag Lady is still a recording like no other, and here are a few reasons why.

Isaac Hayes – Bumpy’s Lament (Multiple Versions) (1971)

Legendary musician Isaac Hayes is revisited as he creates one of the greatest soundtracks of all time.

Lupe Fiasco – Life, Death & Love From San Francisco (Audio) (2011)

We have many things for which to be thankful this holiday season.

In 1957, audiences were at their most adulatory, worshipping the sounds of Billie Holiday, Dizzie Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and John Coltrane. It was on November 29 of that year that “Thanksgiving Jazz” was performed, a benefit concert including a selection of jazz most recognizable names.

In 2005, listeners were compelled to display a level of praise befitting the monumental gift bestowed upon them, just like their 1957 predecessors. It was in September of that year that Blue Note Records released a newly discovered recording from that same evening, nearly 48 years prior—a performance of the Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane.

It was a once-in-a-lifetime find. To hear the punctuated strokes of Monk, in such clarity, is special, indeed. And we were all given yet another opportunity to do so. Never to be outdone, Coltrane, too, finds a place, not only comfortably, but outspoken at times. They seem to play off of each other quite well. The absence of awkward interjections and forced moments of showmanship are appreciated, but an understood aspect of both artists’ genius. Hearing Monk and Coltrane, along with drummer Shadow Wilson and bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik, in such a form is just another reason I give thanks.
[audio:http://royayersproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/01-Monks-Mood.mp3|titles=Monk’s Mood]
[audio:http://royayersproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/07-Sweet-and-Lovely.mp3|titles=Sweet and Lovely]
But, during this Thanksgiving season, I am appreciative of something new—birthed from the same lineage. Lupe Fiasco released another mixtape, aptly titled Friend of the People. Fiasco seemed back to his old form, intricately weaving powerful prose across a tapestry of eclectic sounds. I was, however, taken by one particular track, more so than any of the others. It was “Life, Death & Love from San Francisco.”
[audio:http://royayersproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/08-Life-Death-Love-From-San-Francisco1.mp3|titles=Life, Death & Love From San Francisco]
Channeling the soul of Coltrane, Fiasco chose to work his linguistic aptitude across “Acknowledgment,” the first suite of the 1964 classic, A Love Supreme. His flow manages to fit perfectly with the bold performance of Coltrane. It’s a record that seems to be conceptually simplistic, but in delivery is completely overwhelming. This was a meeting of the minds set over fifty years ago.

I am thankful for many things—friends, family, good health. Today, I am thankful for great music.

“She said “Absurd last words from a dude off a Zoosk site”
And then left him
Like the Roots left Geffen
And the state Howlin’ Wolf left Chess in…”

Written By: Paul Pennington

Herbie Hancock and the Fairlight CMI (Circa 1980) (Video)

Herbie Hancock is displaying his Fairlight CMI synthesizer with some extremely noteworthy company, making for extremely unique footage.

36 Artist Interpretations of John Coltrane

Amazing art inspired by one of Jazz’s greatest artists.

Herbie Hancock – Directstep (Audio) (1978)

Herbie Hancock is a Jazz icon, and this particular album is a prime example why he is so revered for pushing the art form to the next level.

George Duke / Common – Break My Heart (1974/2007)

Taking a brief look at the intersection of two talent artists at their most exploratory.

McCoy Tyner – Today and Tomorrow (1963) (Audio)

Jazz legend McCoy Tyner has had an illustrious career. Here is a earlier recording from Tyner as a frontman when he was a youthful 23 years old.

John Coltrane – Impressions (Video) (1961)

A legendary performance by a legendary artist. John Coltrane at his best, and this archived footage proves it.

Pharoah Sanders – Love In Us All (Audio) (1973)

The iconic Pharoah Sanders displays his free form style and his melodic style as ‘Love In Us All’ is a whirlwind of jazz sub-genre.

Artist Profile: Cordell Ross (illadelphsouL)

The face behind this particular piece, and the artwork for Georgia Anne Muldrow’s album entitled ‘Early’ is the one and only Cordell Ross, also known as (illadelphsouL).