The first full-length release from Jazz Is Dead comes out now from Roy Ayers, who brings us the treasure that is JID 002. Jazz Is Dead - the concert series - was created by producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Adrian Younge together with DJ and producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Now there’s the record label, which has a wealth of studio albums peppered with jazz, funk and soul, all set for upcoming release.
JID 002 is the first full-length release from the label - a collection of tracks which could have been written for spring and summer 2020. We’ve seen the best and worst of human nature through lockdown, racial tension and social distancing around the world. If only we could all “Let emotion take control and Synchronize Vibration”.
Jazz is Dead aims for collaboration between the partnership of Younge and Muhammad with some much-respected jazz musicians. Ayers was involved with JID 001, along with sax player Gary Bartz, whose work with Art Blakey and McCoy Tyner is legendary. Alongside iconic musicians, JID uses vintage equipment to achieve a sound that could hardly be more modern.
Whatever else JID 002 is, it’s not an endorsement of the statement that jazz is no more.
Widely regarded as the godfather of neo-soul, Roy Ayers takes the vibraphone of Burton, Hampton and Locke and brings it simultaneously back to classic jazz and forward into the startlingly modern, with hip hop, funk and soul thrown in for good measure.
JID 002 contains eight original tracks from the collaboration of Younge, Shaheed Muhammad and Ayers. The stunning performances include Greg Paul on drums, vocalists Loren Oden, Joy Gilliam, Saudia Yasmein, Elgin Clark and Anitra Castleberry, as well as Phil Ranelin and Wendell Harrison from legendary spiritual jazz label Tribe Records.
Take a listen to Solace here:
Ali Shaheed Muhammad said: “What is Jazz in 2020? I can answer that this way: jazz artists have not only been an inspiration that has shaped my development as a musician, but their music is deeply rooted into the foundation of the Hip-Hop culture. We have risen because their head nodding beats, lush chord progressions, soul ripping melodies and bellowing basslines have given us a musical back beat to poetically flow on until the break of dawn. To me, it’s all freedom music and Jazz Is Dead is motivating a movement.”
Roy Ayers JID 002 is released digitally on June 19th 2020 and physically at the end of July.