Thursday, November 17, 2005

Is cool

"You Figure It Out..." from the Cinncinnati-based group Iswhat?!, now on my man Joel Dorn's Hyena Records, is the best example I've found yet in my search for a good melding of jazz and hip-hop forms.

Napoleon Maddox, plays his voice, marvelously, in the best tradition of scat singers, rappers, beat poets and street corner evangelists. Saxophonist Jack Walter, who also plays some flute on the disk, sounds like David Murray here and David "Fathead" Newman there, pretty good company, which is to say he's legitimately adept. Bassist Matthew Anderson, equally adept, rounds out the trio. They use pieces of Monk, cover Mingus' "Fables of Faubus" (Anderson is outstanding in a Mingus role on "Trust Introduct" and "Trust," too) and otherwise mix it up together and with guests ranging from avant-garde jazz percussionist Hamid Drake to DJ Spooky. I find it to be pretty exciting stuff.

Champaign-Urbana area residents are lucky. Iswhat?! is playing for free here, with outstanding baritone saxophonist Claire Daly, after the Stefon Harris & Blackout concert Dec. 3.


Anonymous said...

THE REST OF THE ISWHAT?! crew and Lots and lots of fun there in Urbana - Champaign over the weekend...

I wish I'd seen this post sooner as I would have made it clear that CLAIRE DALY is touring with ISWHAT?! !!! yep that same CLAIRE DALY that released the incredible "Heaven Help Us All" !!! what fun we are having ..

the rest of the tour is -
DAYTON - 12/5 tonight @ elbow bar w/ SKRATCHMATIK
LOUISVILLE - 12/6 tomorrow @ jazz factory
COLUMBUS - 12/7 wednesday @ acme art Co. w/ Flip The Early Riser & guests
LEXINGTON - 12/9 friday @ firebird w/ Sabir Mateen Quintet
PITTSBURGH - 12/10 saturday @ carnegie mellon
BROOKLYN - 12/11 sunday @ barbes w/ Roy Nathanson Quartet

Peace & Blessings,

Greg Kline said...

Thanks Napoleon and keep making great music.