Recap: Giant Step Curated Red Bull Sound Select Show ft. Thundercat, ASTR, & Tondrae Kemp @ LPR – Feb 19

 

Words by DJ Tara

This month’s Red Bull Sound Select, curated by Giant Step, was a journey across not only genres, but regions of the country.

Starting off the night was Tondrae Kemp, who brought some Louisiana funk and blues to the stage. The crowd quickly warmed to his soulful voice, lively band, and songs about love, heartbreak, and everything in between. He gripped the crowd with his version of the Isley Brothers‘ “Footsteps in the Dark (Parts 1&2)” which led nicely into an Ice Cube sing-along of “It Was a Good Day.” Hip hop wasn’t the only unique influence in Kemp’s set: there were hints of reggae and New Orleans Jazz throughout, making for a lively time.

DJ Jon Oliver of I Love Vinyl and East Village Radio kept the crowd buzzing between acts.

Read the rest after the jump

New Release: Robert Glasper Experiment – ‘Black Radio 2′

 

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Today, Robert Glasper Experiment drops the much awaited Black Radio 2! The project follows up the 2013 Grammy Award winning Black Radio, named Best R&B Album.

Making up the Experiment and the core of the sonic vision are Robert Glasper on keyboards, Derrick Hodge on bass, Mark Colenburg on drums, and Casey Benjamin on vocoder and saxophone. And as expected, the guest vocalists are impressive: Common, Patrick Stump, Brandy, Jill Scott, Dwele, Marsha Ambrosius, Anthony Hamilton, Faith Evans, Norah Jones, Snoop Dogg, Lupe Fiasco, Luke James, Emeli Sandé, Lalah Hathaway, and Malcolm-Jamal Warner. Get a taste of the sounds with the video for “Calls” featuring Jill Scott below!

The tour kicks off today in NYC at Best Buy Theatre with special guests Common and Marsha Ambrosius! Find additional tour dates after the jump.

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Tour dates after the jump

Interview: Jose James Checks In Before SummerStage on August 11

 

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Before hitting SummerStage this Sunday, August 11, Jose James catches up with us about his relationship to Giant Step, his growth as an artist, and what’s up next.

Giant Step: How would you say Giant Step most influenced your music and/or career?

Jose James: Wow. It’s been so great, thank you guys. The first show was at the Hiro Ballroom in NYC opening for the amazing Alice Russell. Then we started the Brownswood Sessions at Nublu with DJ Moni and Taylor McFerrin. Beautiful times! Giant Step really paved the way for what I do, connecting hip-hop, soul, jazz and DJ culture. The London connection, Gilles Peterson, all that. It’s a global movement to present quality music.

GS: We’ve been with you from the start and it’s been a pleasure to see you progress; how would you say No Beginning No End Jose has evolved from The Dreamer Jose?

JJ: Well, I’m more well traveled. That influences you tremendously. When I made The Dreamer I was still in school and had only been to a couple places outside the US – now I’ve toured in 40 countries and counting. I’m actually in Mexico right now. You meet people and see how your music is loved worldwide and that’s a powerful thing. Now I have worldwide family and a great relationship with my fans. It’s beautiful. Musically I’m more comfortable expressing all the worlds I love – soul, R&B, jazz, rock, blues, gospel, hip-hop – and you can hear that on the new album, and in the collaborations – Robert Glasper, Pino Palladino, Emily King, Hindi Zahra.

GS: And where do you see yourself going next? Any challenges/goals you’re keen on tackling?

JJ: I’d like to reconnect with electronic music. I just dropped an EP on Blue Note with remixes by FaltyDL, Oddisee, fLako, and Taylor McFerrin. I lived in London for a year and went to Plastic People, Fabric, Cargo and met great DJs and producers like Benji B, Benga and Skream, Floating Points. So I miss that and want to do more in that world. I’m working on a new album now for next year called Desire.

Read the rest of the interview after the jump

New Release: Derrick Hodge – ‘Live Today’

 

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The venerable Derrick Hodge today releases his debut Live Today album. Through the lens of a composer, Hodge blends together his experiences playing for artists in an array of genres (jazz, R&B, hip-hop, gospel, and classical). A labor of love, he had a hand in each track, whether co-writing or writing himself.

The album also shows the massively amazing company he keeps, with appearances from Common, Robert Glasper, Casey Benjamin, Chris Dave, James Poyser, Marcus Strickland, and Keyon Harrold, amongst others. Watch the album trailer below to learn more and hear firsthand from Derrick what the project is all about for him.

Stream Live Today in full on NPR and listen for yourself!

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