Throwback Thursday: ‘Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool’ Documentary on AIDS & Communities of Color (1994)

 

The Red Hot organization has been a long time pioneer in “fighting AIDs through popular culture” as they put it. They’ve brought together artists from far and wide underneath the same banner and it’s overwhelmingly beautiful every time.

1994′s Red Hot + Cool, which explored the intersection between classic jazz and contemporary hip-hop, was no exception as it earned Time Magazine‘s Album of the Year honor. Take a trip back with us and watch Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool, their documentary film which brought light to the impact of AIDS on communities of color. The doc also includes a cameo of Guru and Donald Byrd performing at a Giant Step produced event in collaboration with Red Hot at Supper Club – what a night! It originally aired on PBS along with the album release.

View the flyer for the historic Giant Step party slash Red Hot taping after the jump!

Throwback Thursday: Digable Planets @ Supper Club – Nov 10, 1993

 

For Throwback Thursday this week, Maurice recounts our first Digable Planets show! Get the scoop below.

I first found out about Digable Planets around 1992. I received a call from Dennis Wheeler, President of Pendulum Records, which was an imprint on Elektra. He knew what we were doing at Giant Step and told me he wanted to send over some demos of a new band they’d signed to hear our response. So, they sent me the demos and I thought it was very Tribe-esque [see: A Tribe Called Quest]. I ended up meeting with the band and the label to explore how Giant Step could help Digable Planets, and this actually became a very early marketing project for us without really realizing it.

Digable Planets finished “Cool Like That” and brought the test press of the track to the Giant Step club, which was then in the basement at Metropolis Café. We tested the song out on the Giant Step crowd – first time that record was ever played in public – and it went down brilliantly; people went crazy. Inspired by the response from the crowd that night, the guys went home and they made The Crashing Giant Step Mix, which was on the original 12” of “Cool Like That.”

Read more after the jump

Rest In Peace, Donald Byrd

 

Jazz great Donald Byrd has passed away. Another timeless contributor to music old and new is gone, but his legacy remains. Hear “Think Twice” above and “You and Music” after the jump.

Below, you can also view a clip of an AIDS/HIV documentary called Red Hot and Cool, which includes Donald Byrd performing with Guru’s Jazzamatazz. The performance is in fact from a Giant Step produced event at Supper Club in 1994.

Hear “You and Music” after the jump

Explore Blue Note Records’ New Spotify App – Launched Today

 

The legendary Blue Note Records today releases their brand new Spotify app! Journey the label’s entire catalog from 1939 to present, spanning everything from “Jazz to Jay-Z.” Christmas might have come early, if we do say so ourselves. And we are so excited to share the scoop on this one with y’all.

The app allows you to traverse the historic evolution of Blue Note in a profound way:

“from the early jazz of Sidney Bechet to the trailblazing bebop of Thelonious Monk, from Art Blakey’s quintessential hardbop thru Ornette Coleman’s avant-garde flights, from Jimmy Smith’s grinding organ soul jazz leading to Donald Byrd’s funky R&B fusion and on into today’s modern explorations such as Robert Glasper’s unique blend of jazz with hip hop, and beyond.”

Explore the Blue Note catalog using your choice of filter (musical style, era, or instrument), a timeline, or styles (traditions, groove, voices). The app also offers the ability to see who sampled each Blue Note record. Users can purchase Blue Note merch using the app as well. Below, Rolling Stone breaks down the limitless playground that is the sample tracking portal:

“Blue Note partnered with the hip-hop sample database WhoSampled.com for a feature that shows how its catalog has also been matriculated into pop, providing side-by-side examples of the original Blue Note recording and the way it was used. For instance, a drum break from bebop saxophonist Lou Donaldson’s 1969 take on the Isley Brothers’ “It’s Your Thing” found its way onto Madonna’s 1994 cut “I’d Rather Be Your Lover,” as well as tracks by De La Soul, Joe and Puff Daddy; in the app, you can listen to them all instantly.”

The screen shots of the app in action are a great way to wrap your head around the richness of the app. Check ‘em after the jump – pretty freakin’ incredible it all is.

After peeping the screen shots, pick up a few more details on our release page and the Rolling Stone article.

Download the app for free and get to diggin!

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Screen shots of the Blue Note Spotify app after the jump