In the jazz world, folks are finally starting to recognize the influence of hip hop on jazz. It took a while for the jazz cognoscenti to get on board (we’re more than 15 years past the end of hip hop’s Golden Age), but finally there seems to be a consensus forming around the idea that rap music exerts at least as great an influence on modern jazz as, say, Bach.
But what’s been around for much longer is jazz-inflected hip hop. The music that grew up in the Bronx, with DJs cutting and splicing old soul records at block parties and dance halls, quickly moved across the country and incorporated other genres. Check out Ahmad Jamal on Nas’ “The World Is Yours,” or Lucky Thompson on “Jazz (We’ve Got)” by A Tribe Called Quest, or Herbie Hancock on Eric B. and Rakim’s “Untouchables.” You get the point.
Well, this weekend you’ll have the opportunity to hear a mixtape featuring the music of one of rap’s most influential groups, re-imagined entirely with jazz samples. The group is Wu-Tang Clan, and the freshly minted reworking is called SHAOLIN JAZZ – The 37th Chamber, a play on the band’s 1994 debut, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). The mixtape release party is at 9 p.m. on Saturday at Palace 5ive, a skateboard and sneaker boutique in Shaw. And there will be free Heineken. Yes indeedy. Continue reading