All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Take Five With...

351

Take Five With Chris Rob

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Meet Chris Rob:

Born and raised on Chicago's south-side, Chris Rob was first introduced to music at age four by his mother, a renowned classical pianist. Today a respected singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, he's created an international following due to his musical genius, and captivating live performances.

In just a few years after relocating to New York, Chris Rob worked his way to musical director, keyboardist and back-up vocalist for the best in popular music. He recently served these roles for R&B vocalist John Legend on his Grammy Award-winning "Get Lifted Tour, and can be seen highlighted throughout the John Legend: Live at The House of Blues DVD, released in 2006.

Chris Rob has also worked closely in the studio with hip hop heavyweights Lauryn Hill and Kanye West, as well as producers Swiss Beatz, DJ Spinna, Devo Springsteen, Emile, and soul vocalist Leon Ware, the legendary co-writer for Marvin Gaye. His most recent efforts includes Legend's single "Stereo, The Polyrhythm Addict's "Ugly World, and DJ Spinna's remix of the late James Brown's forthcoming release Gutbucket.

His stage credits as a backing musician and opening act include: Stevie Wonder, Prince & the New Power Generation, Elton John, Snoop Dogg, John Mayer, Ashford & Simpson, Jill Scott, The Black Eyed Peas, Alicia Keys, Barry Manilow, Roberta Flack, Common, The Polyrhythm Addicts, and meshell ndegeocello. He's also appeared on the 2006 Grammy Awards, Oprah, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and The Ellen Degeneres Show.

Armed with a degree in Music Business from Roosevelt University, his unique sound, passion and aptitude for music continue to reflect his experience and training. "I want to make the biggest impact possible, says Rob. "I want to bring back the feel good energy of old school R&B & Hip Hop, and make music that brings people together.

Instrument(s): vocals, piano, bass, drums, guitar.

Teachers and/or influences? my mother, father, Prince, Herbie Hancock, Miles, Coltrane, J Dilla.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I saw Purple Rain as a kid....that was too cool to me to see Prince do his thing.

Your sound and approach to music: It's a fusion of dance floor funk, doo wop soul, and hip hop, laced with true jazz and a little bit of rock

Your teaching approach: Teach them to listen to everything, to enjoy life and to bring their heart into the music, along with the technicalities and devotion to practicing.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why? The Official Bootleg of Chris Rob, Vol. 1 (available on iTunes and cdbaby.com). Probably 'cause it's my only project of my own I've released so far!! But also because, all the songs are me finally getting a chance to get into my own world and bring people there to hang out, there's a lot going on in my head, and that album gave a dosage of that to introduce me to a lot of people.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? I contribute a focused sense of diversity in every project I do. You get some hip hop, some jazz, some rock, some funk, some soul....but it's all organic, it's not just to show people that I can do it, it's because the spirits told me to do it!

CDs you are listening to now: Donald Blackmon, Donald Blackmon; Van Hunt, On The Jungle Floor (Capitol); John Coltrane, A Love Supreme Dead Prez, Revolutionary But Gangsta; J Dilla, The Shining.

Desert Island picks: Stevie Wonder, Innervisions (Motown); John Coltrane, A Love Supreme; Prince, Sign O The Times; Slum Village, Fantastic Volume One; Miles Davis, Nefertiti.

How would you describe the state of jazz today? Jazz is still present and attracting youth, but now it's taking on a new guise in the form of hip hop. Especially in New York...it is not uncommon to see musicians playing behind emcees, freestyling new grooves behind them, and extending instrumental interludes between rap verses. Many people may not see it that way since it is not as traditional, but jazz has always been about exploration and new energy, and the reality is that hip hop is playing a crucial role in keeping jazz alive and well.

What is in the near future? The Chase is my new project. It is a look into the mind of a single man, living his dream and searching for balance in love, passions, and peace of mind in this new buck-wild century. Based on a true story.....

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Dave Douglas: from Revolution to Revelation Take Five With...
Dave Douglas: from Revolution to Revelation
by Ludovico Granvassu
Published: February 19, 2018
Read Take Five with Chris Abelen Take Five With...
Take Five with Chris Abelen
by Chris Abelen
Published: February 13, 2018
Read Take Five with Andrew Kushnir Take Five With...
Take Five with Andrew Kushnir
by Andrew Kushnir
Published: February 11, 2018
Read Take Five with Naama Gheber Take Five With...
Take Five with Naama Gheber
by Naama Gheber
Published: February 7, 2018
Read Take Five with Luc Herrmann Take Five With...
Take Five with Luc Herrmann
by Luc Herrmann
Published: January 26, 2018
Read Take Five with Ryan Slatko Take Five With...
Take Five with Ryan Slatko
by Ryan Slatko
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Take Five with Julian Hartwell" Take Five With... Take Five with Julian Hartwell
by Julian Hartwell
Published: April 20, 2017
Read "Take Five with Jose Negroni" Take Five With... Take Five with Jose Negroni
by Jose Negroni
Published: November 16, 2017
Read "Take Five with Debora Galan" Take Five With... Take Five with Debora Galan
by Debora Galan
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "Take Five with Chris Abelen" Take Five With... Take Five with Chris Abelen
by Chris Abelen
Published: February 13, 2018
Read "Take Five With Sylvia Brooks" Take Five With... Take Five With Sylvia Brooks
by Sylvia Brooks
Published: October 1, 2017
Read "Take Five with Brian Kastan" Take Five With... Take Five with Brian Kastan
by Brian Kastan
Published: March 8, 2017