Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

344

DJ Logic: Zen Of Logic

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Four years since Ropeadope released The Anomaly, DJ Logic is back with an album every bit as cerebral and grooving. He works with a phenomenal roster of invited guests, and he knows how to pick his collaborators as well as his samples. Blending block-rocking beats, spacey dub, classic soul, raga-tinged grooves, stuttering Afro-beat horns and analog keyboard driven electro-funk, Logic's catholic tastes allow him to journey wherever an infectious groove may take him.

Logic augments his beats and scratches with an alternating cast of instrumentalists. Bassist Melvin Gibbs, guitarist Charlie Hunter, a handful of percussionists, the Antibalas Horns and a slew of keyboardists all join in the fray. Maintaining Logic's old school aesthetic, keyboardists John Medeski, Scotty Hard and Chris Brown roll out Moogs, Wurlitzers, ARPs, Clavinets, Mellotrons and sundry ancient analog keyboards to funk up this already grooving affair.

Breaking out of the instrumental mold, Logic invites rappers Creature and Sub-Conscious, as well as vocalist Latasha Nevada Diggs, to contribute one track apiece. The established tradition of guest appearances by vocalists and rappers on DJ records helps the average DJ avoid being overly repetitive by breaking up the instrumentals with a distinctive human vocal presence. This device may seem necessary for novices, but for Logic it merely demonstrates his magnanimous interest in collaboration.

Even without the vocal tracks, the album never sounds repetitive or monotonous, so diverse is its panorama of styles. Hopping seamlessly from genre to genre, Logic reveals encyclopedic knowledge of a number of styles from Afro-beat to dub.

"Balifon Planet" blends sci-fi ambience, kung fu samples and backwards masked organ refrains into a moody haze. "Afro Beat" lives up to its title, with the Antibalas Horns churning out stuttering riffs over John Medeski's spooky voodoo organ. "Hope Road" invokes melodious dub, while "Something Distant" calls upon bhangra and Grime for raw beats. "Rat Pack" even includes a brief Sun Ra sample for an impromptu history lesson.

Spinning and mixing beats on the wheels of steel takes adroit technical skills, like any other musical instrument. But combining all these elements into a cohesive musical whole takes compositional forethought. Logic's spinning skills are definitely beyond reproach, yet he is a conceptualist first, a technician second. With Zen of Logic, he joins the ranks of such luminaries as Kid Koala, DJ Spooky and DJ Shadow as one of the most astute DJs today.

Track Listing: Peace Y'All (I am in the House); 9th Ward Blues; Balifon Planet; Hypnotic; Interlude #1; Simmer Slow; Afro Beat; One Time; Something Distant; Hope Road; Smackness; Interlude #2; Rat Pack; Holding Down.

Personnel: DJ Logic: all cuts and scratches, beats, Moog bass; Melvin Gibbs: bass, beats, Moog bass, Moog synth (3,8,9,14); Scotty Hard: guitar, 808 drum machine, tone bass, Mini Moog, Piccolo Moog, Moog synth, Fender Rhodes (3,5,7,8,12,13); John Medeski: ARP String Ensemble, Wurlitzer, Hohner String Organ, Farfisa Organ, Mellotron (4-7,12,13); Chris Brown: Wurlitzer, Moog synth, Moog Voyager, Clavinet (2,3,9-11,14); Charlie Hunter: Fender Guitar, Fender Bass (2,10); Micro Vard: bass (7); Deanthony Parks: drums (6,9); Brahim Fribgane: oud, dumbek, cymbals (9); Yoshi Takemasa: shekere, agogo (7); Suphala: tablas (6); Antibalas Horns [Aaron Johnson: trombone; Stuart Douglas Bogie: tenor saxophone; Martin Perna: baritone saxophone; Jordan Maclean: trumpet] (7); Creature: vocals (8); Sub-Conscious: vocals (4); Latasha Nevada Diggs: vocals (6).

Title: Zen Of Logic | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Wondercap Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Upcoming Shows

Related Articles

Read Poems For Orchestra Album Reviews
Poems For Orchestra
By Friedrich Kunzmann
April 26, 2019
Read We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration Album Reviews
We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration
By Mark Corroto
April 25, 2019
Read Golem Dance Album Reviews
Golem Dance
By Friedrich Kunzmann
April 25, 2019
Read New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4 Album Reviews
New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4
By Dan Bilawsky
April 24, 2019
Read Open Form For Society Album Reviews
Open Form For Society
By Mark Corroto
April 24, 2019
Read Yes Album Reviews
Yes
By John Sharpe
April 24, 2019
Read Avec le temps Album Reviews
Avec le temps
By Mark Sullivan
April 23, 2019