Hip-Hop and Jazz have had an enduring and well-documented love affair that has been analyzed and “broken-down” by many. My favorite people to demonstrate this are usually DJ’s; mainly because they let the music tell the story. It’s devoid of so-called musical expertise and questionable parables. But pianist Jason Moran gets it right every time. Each time I see Moran give an interview, it’s always insightful, personal and…well, accurate. Here, he discusses pianist Thelonious Monk, and his resonance in today’s popular music. Digg it.
Wow… I have a newfound appreciation for Thelonious Monk, Wu-Tang Clan (RZA) and Slum Village (Jay Dee). The beauty of music… of art in general, is its ability to become timeless. Here I am, with two tabs open on the Firefox browser, listening to “Black and Tan Fantasy” (Thelonious Monk) circa 1955 on one tab, and “Shame On A …..” (Wu-Tang Clan) circa 1993 on the other tab, as if they were both recorded yesterday. And to hear the genius of the RZA, inspired by the genius of Thelonious Monk (covering Duke Ellington, a genius in his own right) … what more can you say? Thank you for the jazz history lesson, and the introduction to Jason Moran.
Thanks for the beautiful comment! This is what I love about the dialogue of music. I love to put something out, and receive the gift of perspective from others — I learn something more, see something different and just enjoy people having those same experiences. You brought up a great point in bringing Duke into the fold of the conversation. It’s funny because Monk had been pressured early in his recording career to make a sappy tribute to [fill in the blank]. But he was such an original, that he rejected those cliche ideas. But the ONE person he did tribute was Duke Ellington. There really is something to say for that. Duke was certainly ahead of his time, and Monk clearly understood that, and saw that modernism in himself.
RZA is a genius. Not too many people can tackle Monk. He is just a musical force. One of my favorite hip-hop producers, including JayDee 😉