“I feel like there are more reasons to be excited about improvised music today than at any time during my 41 years on the planet,” the jazz critic Nate Chinen tells Rolling Stone . He has a point, and you don’t need to be a diehard fan of the genre to appreciate it. Crossover stars such as Kamasi Washington and Esperanza Spalding are receiving generous mainstream attention, alongside innovators like pianist Vijay Iyer and guitarist Mary Halvorson. Meanwhile, Thundercat, Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah and others are seamlessly fusing hip-hop, R&B and electronica with their jazz mastery, introducing elements of a century-old art form to new audiences. And five nights a week on national television, Late Show bandleader Jon Batiste showcases his ebullient New Orleans spirit alongside Stephen Colbert. In short, the contemporary jazz scene is bursting with promise — but how did we get here? See Also Review: Kamasi Washington's New … [Read more...] about What’s Behind the New Jazz Resurgence?
Intersectional hip hop
It’s rare to hear someone say “Play that new Isaiah Rashad!” in a turnt setting. Rashad has been an introspective rapper signed to hip-hop powerhouse Top Dawg Entertainment since 2013; he’s has the immense skill and vulnerability of his labelmate Kendrick Lamar, but none of the party songs. His 2014 debut on TDE, Cilvia Demo and its follow-up, 2016’s The Sun’s Tirade , are critically acclaimed for Rashad’s dexterous lyricism and poignant tussles with parenthood, addiction, and depression. His raps are often pillars of resilience or anxious rubble. It’s the kind of music you listen to alone and eagerly DM to attentive friends, not put on while you’re together. It’s been four years since Rashad released a body of work, and since then, he’s dropped one single, the wordy, urgent “Why Worry.” On his long-awaited return, “Lay Wit Ya,” he really does chill out and turn up. This is the reemergence that a safer summer after 14 months of suffering deserves — we’ve earned a season … [Read more...] about Song You Need to Know: Isaiah Rashad Featuring Duke Deuce, ‘Lay Wit Ya’
The statistics of Bandcamp Friday speak for themselves: In the year-plus since the launch of the campaign, during which the platform has waived its revenue share for music purchased on the first Friday of each month, fans have paid artists more than $50 million dollars . “Bandcamp is like my life source,” metal auteur Trevor William Church told Rolling Stone in 2019, no doubt speaking for many creators in the age of meager streaming royalties. Bandcamp Friday continues on May 7th — read on for a slew of recommendations from RS staffers on what to throw into your virtual shopping cart. Juliana Hatfield , Blood Juliana Hatfield writes some of the most acerbic, delightful pop songs out there — she gets you bobbing your head to her catchy melodies and sweet voice, then lays you flat with a line like, “I’m living in a nightmare and I can’t wake up/The whole world is controlled by fascist, blood-sucking fucks.” Continuing in the same vein as 2017’s Pussycat — which … [Read more...] about Bandcamp Friday, May 2021 Edition: Support Artists by Buying This Music
For this writer, the quintessential moment of the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival came in transit. A quick stroll on Saturday afternoon took me from the main stage, where Laurie Anderson was wrapping up a set of luminous, exploratory string-trio free improv, to one of the smaller tents, where octogenarian Memphis piano master Harold Mabern, saxophonist Eric Alexander & Co. were busy muscling through a set of exquisite old-school hardbop. The transition was disorienting in the best way possible — an illustration of just how broad this legendary fest’s concept of jazz still is. Thanks to its upscale beach-town setting, the Rhode Island festival might still have an air of old-money gentility. But on the ground, the event feels populist and homegrown, thanks to hand-painted welcome signs (“We’re all here together and it’s festival time!”), a sea of lawn chairs and coolers, and of course the legendary main-stage view of the water, where a whole other audience can be seen taking in the … [Read more...] about Newport Jazz Festival 2018: 14 Best Things We Saw
Trippie Redd teamed up with Playboi Carti for the new song “Miss the Rage,” which arrives just two months after the rapper’s latest LP. The single follows the release of Trippie Redd’s first-ever “rock” album, 2021’s Neon Shark vs. Pegasus , produced by Travis Barker. That album was the deluxe version of Trippie Redd’s Pegasus , which peaked at Number Two on the Rolling Stone Top 200 Albums chart upon its release in November 2020. Playboi Carti similarly released his latest album Whole Lotta Red in December 2020, following that up with the video for “ Sky ” in April. Like Redd’s Neon Shark reissue, Whole Lotta Red found Carti exploring more rock elements, the rapper told Rolling Stone . “This sound is something that’s going to be regular and relevant in the future,” Playboi Carti said. “That’s just part of creating something new. If this is something that people accept right away, how different is it?” Despite more rappers’ foray into rock music, “Miss … [Read more...] about Trippie Redd Teams Up With Playboi Carti for ‘Miss the Rage’