Madlib is undoubtedly one of hip-hop’s most important producers. His ear and taste for jazz manifested itself in the rich, multi-layered production that made albums by Lootpack, and his alter-ego, Quasimoto, the critics’ toast they were. Yesterday’s New Quintet is the latest and most ambitious project from Madlib. Consisting of four other accomplished musicians under Madlib’s eccentric guidance and vision (he also plays drums on the album), Angles Without Edges represents one of the most organic fusions of hip-hop and jazz so far. Anchored by dusty, fluid breakbeats, YNQ also harnesses the improvisational energy of jazz whilst remaining within cohesive song structures. Despite the limited use of vocals, Angles... is both absorbing and varied. Each track has its own intricacies that beg attentive listening. An album that is equal parts jazz, hip-hop and funk, Madlib and his band have pushed the envelope of hip-hop with ease and limitless style. Angles Without Edges is completely original, addictive and unmissable.
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.