Today is Dilla Day in which the world, and Detroit especially, pays tribute to the legendary Hip Hop producer J Dilla. In his honor and to pay tribute to J Dilla, Slum Village has dropped the first single, “Yes Yes,” from their forthcoming (and thus far untitled) LP, which will drop this Spring, and will feature production from the late Jay Dee. Check it out below.
Saxophonist Darryl Reeves, alongside bandmates Kenny Banks, Jr (keyboards), Joel Powell (bass) and Kenton Bostick (drums), has re-imagined a set of J Dilla songs into a mixtape of jazz music called The Dillaquarium Mixtape.
Here’s the track list:
Makin’ Me Itch
Star of Detroit
For more info: Darryl Reeves – The Dillaquarium Mixtape
On working with J Dilla, Finale says, “It was off a beat CD, but it was done before he passed away and I was able to build with him about it before he passed. I did three joints with him off the beat CDs he sent me; ‘Heat’ ended up being one of the joints we did. I look at that joint more like a tribute.”
Tracks made during Jay Dee’s days with Delicious Vinyl were made into the album release, Yancey Boys, by his brother Illa J. The instrumentals are now available at Stones Throw.
Below, Mark de Clive-Lowe discusses his relationship with Jazz, connects the music of Ellington and Coltrane to that of IG Culture and J Dilla, and connects the sounds of the big band to those of the MPC.
On his relationship to Jazz:
“I think I was first attracted to Jazz for the groove (especially in comparison to classical piano music which I’d been learning), and the freedom that it offered in improvisation. At each stage of my musical development, what, how and why I played was a reflection of where I was at in my life at that point in time. Now I feel a lot more settled, knowing how I want music to sound and how to make it sound like that while being conscious of keeping my own creativity evolving.”
On the meaning of Jazz to him:
“It’s more what it does not mean to me. Jazz to me is not about the vernacular or musical language that makes say, Bebop sound like Bebop. It’s about the concept and wider creative approach embodied by musicians like Ellington, Miles, Trane, Monk, Herbie and many others right through to the likes of J Dilla, IG Culture and Q-Tip.”
On Big Bands:
“I started off in a big band – in fact before the first big band gigs I did, I’d played big band in junior high school. I’m not sure I really knew what I was doing though! I’m doing some big band show in January 2009 in Holland, fusing the MPC and synths with a Jazz big band. That’s going to be dope.”