My new mix is a tribute to Roy Ayers, one of my favourite musicians. Roy was born in 1940 and hails from South-Central Los Angeles. Roy started recording as a bebop sideman in 1962 and rose to prominence when he joined jazz flutist Herbie Mann in 1966. In the early Seventies Roy formed the band Ubiquity and became one of jazz-funk’s leading proponents. My musical choices on some of the many tracks Roy wrote or played on as a sideman. I have avoided the usual favourites, but I couldn’t resist Everybody Loves the Sunshine! At seventy-five Roy is still going strong and I can personally vouch that his live act is stunning. A true giant!
I have always known Yusef Lateef’s music from back in the day. But, recently I have been rediscovering what a musical phenomenon he really was. For those not familiar with Lateef here’s a short biography.
Yusef Abdul Lateef, October 9, 1920 – December 23, 2013) was an American multi-instrumentalist, & composer. Although working predominantly in the idiom known as Jazz, Lateef wanted to be known as a musician rather than a “jazz” musician. Lateef’s main instruments were the tenor saxophone and flute, but he also played bamboo flute, shanai, shofar, xun, arghul and koto. He was a true innovator studying “Eastern music” and blending it with western influences to create a new genre. Yusef “played world music before world music had a name.”
Well if you want to hear why I love his music, I have posted a mix on Mixcloud which gives a little of his essence. I am only really disturbing the surface of a deep well of brilliance, so I advise you to search out his albums and discover for yourselves what a musical genius he was.
As 2015 comes to a close it’s time to post DJ2tee’s Top Twenty Albums of the year. Naturally musical taste is a purely subjective thing. So if you are looking for a selection of popular albums, better stop reading now. There is no Adele or Justin Bieber or Coldplay. Not knocking those “celebrities”, just not in my musical bag!
Hopefully, you will appreciate the music I have chosen which generally has a jazz flavour, but includes other genres. And, if you are not familiar with the artists, please check them out. Remember, this is no definitive list, I could have chosen a completely different selection, but these are some of my favourites.
I have chosen not to make comment on the individual albums, it’s best to let the music do the talking! Lastly, the albums are listed in no particular order, they are all amazing in their own way. If you want some more information on the artist, just click on the cover picture.
1. Stretch Music – Christian Scott
2. Choose Your Weapon – Hiatus Kaiyoti
3. The Epic – Kamasi Washington
4. Into Forever – Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra
5. Offerings – Chrenee Wade
6. The Light Years Of The Darkness – Emanative
7. The Bronx Pyramid – Carlos Henriquez
8. Search For Peace – Heads of State
9. To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar
10. Heartbreak Pass – Giant Sand
11. Starfire – Jagga Jazzist
12. Muriel – Sean Khan
13. Lest We Forget What We Came Here to Do – Sons of Kemet
14. The Sorcerers – The Sorcerers
15. Invocations – Nat Birchall
16. Lucky Man – Alfonso Diedda
17. III – Bixiga 70
18. Ancient Mechanisms – LV
19. Debi – Sangoma Everett Trio
20. Same As You – Polar Bear
It’s always difficult to predict what will go down well with the punters on Mixcloud. For example, many of my friends are heavily into early seventies spiritual jazz, me too. But it appears that the listeners on Mixcloud are not that enamoured with the genre. I consistently get low volumes of listeners when I post a spiritual jazz mix. Quite the opposite for Japanese jazz, it always gets a lot of plays. Why? Does Mixcloud have a hardcore of Japanese jazz aficionados? Search me! I wish I knew. In order to try and analyse my listening trends I have logged my plays over the last six months. Surprisingly, my mix inspired by Eric Satie came top of the list. There must be a lot of Satie fans out there. Well I guess there are, but I didn’t expect so many on Mixcloud. Spanish Jazz came a close second, lets here it for the Iberian peninsular. And, in third place “Verse” my poetry and jazz joint, another surprise. Must be some Ginsberg fans in the mix!
Anyway, here is my top twenty mixes – take a listen if you care to, but I’d be just as happy if you checked out some of my less successful mixes at: http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/. They are all my children and just because they failed to make the charts doesn’t mean I’m any less proud of them.
01 Satie http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/satie/
02 Jazz Espana http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/jazz-espa%C3%B1a/
03 Verse http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/verse/
04 The Crusaders http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/dj2tee-presents-the-crusaders/
05 Unusual Suspects http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/unusual-suspects/
06 Jazz Reggae http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/jazz-reggae/
07 Japanese Jazz 2 http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/japanese-jazz-2/
08 Japanese Jazz 3 http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/japanese-jazz-3/
09 Japanese Jazz 1 http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/japanese-jazz/
10 Universal Musical Mind http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/universal-musical-mind/
11 Nordic Noir http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/nordic-noir/
12 Turkish Delight http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/turkish-delight/
13 Talk to the People http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/talk-to-the-people/
14 The Joyous Sound of Flute http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/the-joyous-sound-of-flute/
15 Ocean of Sound http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/ocean-of-sound/
16 Modal Jazz http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/modal-jazz/
17 Bad Sneakers http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/bad-sneakers/
18 Polish Jazz http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/the-story-of-polish-jazz/
19 Amen Break http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/amen/
20 Afro-Blue http://www.mixcloud.com/tony-todd/afro-blue/
What makes a DJ mix popular? To be perfectly frank – I have no idea. I’ve been doing the virtual DJ thing for a while on MixCloud and I am always slightly surprised at the popularity of certain mixes. I suppose to a certain extent it depends on the popularity with your peer DJs. There is an element of nepotism on MixCloud, if a top DJ likes your mix, then you are guaranteed extra plays. How you get to be a top DJ on MixCloud, seems to an esoteric process on which the personal preferences of the MixCloud politburo seems to play a large part. I specialist in jazz and to be “really” popular you have to be included in the Jazz category. I have never managed that yet. The choice of categorised DJ seems a bit hit and miss. There are people in there who have far less followers than me. I have asked MIxcloud about that and never really got a proper answer. Maybe I should send them a box of chocolates!
Anyhow, that’s my rant over. Below are the top ten of my most popular mixes. If you fancy a listen, just click on an image. As always I value your comments. You can leave a comment here or on Mixcloud. If you do like a mix, please love it or Tweet it.
As part of my continuing quest to become a virtual DJ, I hosted the second of my occasional shows on Mixlr. This time, instead of seventies jazz, I concentrated on putting together a melange of Jazz & Hip-hop. I wondered whether putting my webcast into the hip-hop category would increase my listenership. Indeed it did. I rose to the giddy hights of four listeners. I was not disappointed. This after all, was double the number I achieved on my first outing. If I keep on progressing at this rate I will be challenging Radio 6 by the year 3005. Undoubtedly I will be dead, but who knows by some cryogenic miracle I might be able to broadcast across the great divide.
For those of you who were unable to listen to my triumphant session – you can access the recording to play back at your leisure. It contains some old favourites such as Gang Starr and Stetasonic, some more up to date jams from new favourites such as Oddisee. I also give respect to the UK scene with Ty, Speech Debelle, Soweto Kinch, Urban Species and Chapter & The Verse. So if that wets your musical taste buds, you can access the mix at:
Gang Starr Jazz Thing (Video Mix)
Greg Osby Man Talk (Talkin’ Loud Mix)
People Under the Stairs Crazy Live
Urbanator Hot Jazz Biscuits
The Roots Essaywhuman?!!!??!
Dr Who Dat? Pharoah’s Dream Feat. Capital Peoples
daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra You Know Who We Are
Little Brother The Way You Do It (Dirty)
Heavy D & The Boyz Blue Funk
Oddisee Chocolate City Dreaming
Rahzel Steal My Soul
Antipop Consortium What Am I?
The Brecker Brothers Big Idea (Shortwave)
Cas Metah & MotionPlus Be Myself
Us3 Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) [Live]
Ty Groovement, Part 1
Jurassic 5 Swing Set
Chapter & The Verse Black Whip
Quasimoto Jazz Cats, Pt. 1
The Shotgun Wedding Quintet Primetime Man
Dangerdoom Sofa King
De La Soul Stakes Is High
The Nonce Who Falls Apart?
Kidkanevil The Lo-Fi Club
Buckshot LeFonque Black Monday
The Poets Of Rhythm Discern / Define
People Under The Stairs Selfish Destruction
Mos Def Umi Says
Ty Music 2 Fly 2
Lyric L Ooh U & I
Spearhead Oh My God
DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist Product Placement
Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth Skins (feat. Grand Puba)
Souls Of Mischief Soundscience
Stetsasonic Takin’ All That Jazz
Speech Debelle The Key
Ty Wait (feat. Leo Ihenacho & Soweto Kinch)
Blackalicious A To G
Haz Solo Brown Paper Bag
JustMe, Cas Metah Friendly Reminder (feat. Theory Hazit)
Soweto Kinch Raise Your Spirit
Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy Television, The Drug Of The Nation (LP Version)
Common Pops Rap III…All My Children
Sotu the Traveller Daydreams ft. Gregg Green & Tasha
Scienz Of Life Divine Powerz
Kolade Kolade vs. Ron Trent (Fonk Jazz)
Lewis Parker The Unseen Trap (ft. John Robinson)
Kutiman I Just Want To Make Love To You
Freestyle Fellowship Inner City Boundaries
Mellow Drum Addict & Shortop Fire Escape Artists
Vex Davortex The Untold Story- Part I
Urban Species Brother Live [BBC Version]
Common Go! Feat. Joy Denalane (Jazzanova Remix Main)
Cee-Lo Bass Head Jazz
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) (feat. Guru)