Chicago’s Chance The Rapper has built up quite the buzz in 2013 thanks to a string of singles from his new album Acid Rap that drops today. It took me a few songs to get used to his unorthodox, high pitch sing-song delivery, and his subject matter is more youthful and lighthearted than most of the MC’s on my radar, but that doesn’t mean Chance doesn’t take rap seriously, he just has a lot of fun making his unique brand of hip hop. His latest single “Smoke Again” features an appearance from Black Hippy’s Ab-Soul and is the best Chance The Rapper song I’ve heard to this point. Check out Chance’s video for “Smoke Again” below and grab your FREE DOWNLOAD of Acid Rap.
Written by John Bugbee
Like many, I was disappointed to learn that Daniel Blumberg would be leaving his position as Yuck‘s frontman earlier this month. (See announcement via Facebook) Given the monumental amount of buzz around the band’s 2011 debut LP, I’ve found the album has held up surprisingly well in the short term. Yuck was (and is?) a young band with a lot of promise, despite the inflated expectations.
As is often the case with break-ups, it didn’t take long to discover the departing member’s next move. This week, Blumberg debuted a new single from a project he’s calling Hebronix. Listen to “Unreal” and watch the video below. This is not the first solo venture for Blumberg. He released more than an album’s worth of material under the moniker Oupa shortly after the Yuck debut.
It will be interesting to see what the remaining members of Yuck decide to do with the project going forward. Bassist Mariko Doi showed she was a capable frontwoman in her own right with her side project Parakeet. But it’s tough to imagine a female vocalist fronting the material from the Yuck’s self-titled album. And it would certainly be a shame to let those songs fall by the wayside. In any case, the fist taste of Hebronix is an encouraging one. Here’s hoping two bands prove better than one.
Connect with Hebronix via Facebook
Written by Rob Peoni
On March 25, UK imprint Jazzman Records released the fourth installment of its Spiritual Jazz compilation series. Volume 4 focuses on performances of American artists while playing abroad. It’s a much more accessible batch of tunes than the meditative, modal and religious jazz that comprised Volume 3. The latest release features an eclectic cast of heavy hitters ranging from Sun Ra to Albert Ayler to Sahib Shihab.
One highlight from the collection that caught my ear was “Mode for Trane” by pianist Billy Gault. The track was culled from Gault’s lone solo LP in 1975′s When Destiny Calls. The album was originally released on Denmark’s SteepleChase Records, before Inner City Records handled U.S. distribution the following year. Info on Gault beyond When Destiny Calls is limited, although I found several bits of info online that suggest he changed his name to Kalim Zarif and has enjoyed a long career both teaching and performing jazz.
Joe Lee Wilson and Ellen DeLeston handle the vocal work on “Mode for Trane.” Wilson’s career as a baritone, though rarely celebrated outside circles of jazz aficionados, is more widely known than Gault’s. Part African American and part Creek Native American, Wilson was born to farming parents in Bristow, OK before leaving home at 15 to pursue a career in music. Wilson is perhaps best known for his collaboration with saxophonist Archie Shepp on albums like Things Have Got to Change and A Touch of the Blues. Wilson’s storied career is covered brilliantly in a 2011 obituary from The Guardian. Listen to “Mode for Trane” below and grab your copy of Spiritual Jazz 4 from Jazzman Records.
Written by Rob Peoni