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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.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.