How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
DJ Logic, a.k.a. Jason Kibler, came of age in the Bronx during the time of hip-hop’s birth in the early 80s, and has come to occupy an interesting niche in the world of new creative music. He came up as a mover-and-shaker in the Black Rock Coalition and went on to work with Medeski, Martin & Wood, Graham Haynes, and other artists interested in bringing hip-hop’s sonic innovations into their jazz-based work. Logic’s rise is indicative of a very specific moment in today’s music scene, one in which jazz, hip-hop, electronica, and "jam band" improv are all becoming part of a common language, and received notions of what it means to be a musician are being challenged. DJs may not "play" in ways jazz listeners are accustomed to, but they’re staking their claim as legitimate musical thinkers and organizers of sound.
Logic is at the forefront of this movement, and his debut outing makes a strong argument for accepting the new music on its merits. Combining his turntables and beats with a plethora of live instruments, Logic rocks hard and strong, his dance-oriented instincts working in tandem with the harmonic sensibilities of multi-instrumentalist Casey Benjamin in particular. The other core participants are keyboardist Mike Weitman, drummer Stephen Robertson, and bassist Scott Palmer. Special guests include John Medeski on organ and clavinet, Miri Ben-Ari on violin, Melvin Gibbs on bass, Mino Cinelu on percussion, Graham Haynes on trumpet, Vernon Reid on guitar, and Soulive’s Eric Krasno on bass and guitar. If you’re intrigued by the theoretical and practical connections between hip-hop, drum-n-bass, and jazz, you need to check it out. Not every track is an all-out success, and Logic’s aggressive, booming beats may not be for everyone, but this is an integral part of the new "new thing," 2001-style.
Track Listing: 1. French Quarter 2. Black Buddah 3. Ron
Personnel: DJ Logic, turntables, beats, effects; Casey Benjamin, sax, flute, ewi, rhodes; Mike Weitman, wurlitzer, clavinet, organ; Stephen Robertson, bass; Scott Palmer, drums