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In 1993 the late, legendary rapper Guru, released the first of his four-part series of Jazzmatazz albums. The visionary album was one of the first to combine a live jazz band, featuring trumpet player Donald Byrd, Saxophonist Branford Marsalis, and vibraphonist Roy Ayers, with a hip-hop artist. In honor of that album, this column will explore the great collaborations between jazz musicians and non-jazz musicians. Along with jazz musicians collaborating with artists directly, we will also be taking a look at how hip hop and electronic producers have sampled jazz musicians, to create something new.


Sun Ra Nuclear War: A Smooth Soundtrack to the Apocalypse

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With threats of our impending doom through nuclear hellfire seemingly increasing by the day. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to talk about one of my favorite Sun Ra songs, “Nuclear War." A song so smooth and hilarious it almost makes you welcome the apocalypse. “Nuclear War" was released twice, initially on the 1982 album of the same name, and then a second time a year later on A Fireside Chat with Lucifer since on both ...


Remembering Walter Becker

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Steely Dan combined rock and jazz in a way no other artist has ever done. Their music is not simply “jazzers slumming it" to make profitable rock recordings, but a precise blend of the two genres that shows the musicians love for both. On Sunday one of the two architects of Steely Dan, Walter Becker, died at the age of 67. Becker co-wrote all of the bands material with lead singer Donald Fagen, including radio classics like “Aja," ...