After epic back-to-back episodes with Big Jacks and Bozack Morris, we went to back to basics on this one. There’s a definite jazzy vibe happening here. Also, I just threw up a little after writing the words ‘jazzy vibe’. I fucking hate that phrase. Maybe because when I think of contemporary music with a jazz influence, my stomach churns. It immediately takes me back to the dated sounds of 90’s jazz-rap, a happily forgotten tangent in hip-hop that I’m really not sure any of us at Cratery are interested in revisiting.

To clarify, I don’t count groups like Tribe, Main Source, Digable Planets and GangStarr as jazz-rap, even though they used a shitload of jazz samples in their music. Jazz-rap for me was more of an overt thing – groups like US3 were poorly mimicking the aforementioned groups, relying exclusively on jazz samples and going gold in the process. And yet, none of the classic groups I just mentioned labeled themselves as jazz-rap – even GangStarr, who the press basically tried to make wear that shit. They were just hip-hop dudes, and jazz was just another tool. Guru’s Jazzmatazz albums were great in terms of starting a dialogue between our generation and the one before it, but they haven’t exactly stood the test of time (with a few exceptions like “Watch what you say” with Chaka Khan).

Into the late 90’s, the jazzy, Fender Rhodes sound would become increasingly played out, replaced with a harder edged sound found on European prog and library records. The only cats really fucking with overtly jazzy sounding shit were neo-soul artists and even their parade of fake Dilla snares and live electric pianos would grow tiresome after a short time.

But Jazz is still great music. And no shitty modern co-opting by young folk is going to change that. All it takes is a listen to Dave Serious’ opening selection from Mike Westbrook to rekindle that feeling. Kae drops a joint from Compost’s first album (featuring jazz legends like Jack DeJohnette and Harold Vick) and I pull one from the Johnny Lytle files.

This is by no means a full jazz episode – with music from Ray Rivera, The National Gallery and The Brief Encounter, there’s plenty of gems from other genres here.

Listening to records from Curren$y, Joey Bada$$ and countless other rappers without dollar signs in their names, the seasoned hip-hop fan will likely notice a resurgence in the sampling of jazz music. Let’s just hope it doesn’t signal a resurgence in jazz-rap.


1. Mike Westbrook – Love Song no 1
2. Compost – Sweet Berry Wine
3. Johnny Lytle – Tawhid
5. David Axelrod – The Signs (part 1)
6. Affinity – I am and so are you
7. i gres – Duo Balls
8. First Collaboration – Loose collar man
9. The Ray Rivera Orchestra – Guava
10. Mike Taylor and company – Brute Force
11. The National Gallery – Boys with toys
12. The Seeds – Just let go
13. King Herbert – You make me so very happy
14. King Floyd – You’ve been good to me
15. The Brief Encounter – Just a little notion

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7 responses to “CRATERY 59”

  1. sipreano Avatar

    boombastic boy!@#$%!!! where do the sharpshooters fit into this equation???

  2. sipreano Avatar

    $ipreano is about right… 1 dollar bill…

  3. sipreano Avatar

    this epi is a little homo-erotic, no???

    “Love Song no 1,” “The Signs (part 1),” “I am and so are you,” “Duo Balls,” “Loose collar man,” “Brute Force,” “Boys with toys,” “Just let go,” “You make me so very happy,” “You’ve been good to me,” “Just a little notion.”

    time for a female cratery guest. FAST!!!

  4. sipreano Avatar

    no diss to my gay brothers and sisters… (*jazz-rap homophobic-related)…

  5. sipreano Avatar

    PEACE to all. this is a dope cratery…

  6. kaeweezy Avatar

    SIP!!!!! Smashing it as per usual!

  7. Jasia Avatar

    WHAT THE FUCK IS THE UNLISTED? creaming my pants ova here… ughhh!

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