Think Louis Armstrong and his trumpet uploaded for the 21st century to a hiphop beat, and you begin to understand who this young genius is. Maurice is a classically-trained jazzman mentored and supported by the iconic Wynton Marsalis and the legendary Ramsey Lewis. But “Mobetta” is also a hiphop head for life, and that journey on this planet rock literally parallels the history and evolution of rap. Little wonder that Maurice not only blows the roof off God’s sky with his horn, but he also spits lyrics the way Satchmo spit his own brand of vocalese back in the day. Yup, Mobetta is a horn-playing-rhyme-spraying- dancing machine that jazz-hiphop collaborators like Donald Byrd and Gang Starr’s Guru or Ron Carter and A Tribe Called Quest fantasized about in the early 1990s. No need to cram to make that jazz-hiphop experiment happen in these times because Maurice Brown is the living and breathing embodiment of it all, a one-stop shop destined to be this era’s Quincy Jones. And then some.
Which brings me to his new cd, “Maurice vs Mobetta,” or, rather, Maurice’s jazz side versus his hiphop persona. Technically a remix of his second opus “The Cycle of Love”—complete with Maurice’s original horn work intact—this third album instead becomes its own thing: a fresh re-imagining of Maurice’s collaborative vision for music. That equals tracks featuring some of the finest veteran and up-and-coming producers around today plus cameos by underground hiphop mic controllers Talib Kweli, Jean Grae, Consequence, and Mobb Deep’s Prodigy. And it includes the soulful chops of singers like Saunders Sermons and Chris Rob. Which means this Chicago-area native who got his feet dusty in the jazz holes of New Orleans ain’t half steppin’ on “Maurice vs Mobetta.”
Check the stutter-step percussion licks and ring-the-alarm horn playing of Maurice Brown framing Talib Kweli’s hiphop emancipation proclamation “No such thing as too intelligent” on “Fly By Night.” Check the pounding second-line march of “Misunderstood Part II,” a jam so funky you could either sweat to it on a dance floor or the heated pavement of NOLA’s 9th that kickstarts with a house-y Chicago opening romp then electric slides into an elastic musical spliff that Prodigy and Mobetta smoke like the best rap tag teams of hiphop’s Golden Era.
This is a mere sampling of the 9 tracks on “Maurice vs Mobetta.” Brown has more in store, not only on this new effort, but coming down the pike. Fresh off of winning his very first Grammy with Tedeschi Trucks Band for Best Blues Album of the year in 2012 (Maurice was the horn arranger for the 11-piece ensemble), know that “Maurice vs Mobetta” is a gumbo sound lab for this dynamic young trumpet player-arranger-producer.
And Maurice “Mobetta” Brown is just getting warmed up…
by KEVIN POWELLRead More
Check out this amazing live performance of Snarky Puppy along with Lalah Hathaway! This is just one of the dope performances on this DVD/CD releasing tomorrow! you can get it here! http://snarkypuppy.ropeadope.com/album/family-dinner-volume-1
On March 8th, 2013, Snarky Puppy and a host of special guests convened at the Jefferson Center in Roanoke VA. The project was to record a series of live performances in audio and video that would bring attention and benefit to the ongoing work of the center. The Jefferson Center is a non-profit arts organization that is revitalizing a key neighborhood in Roanoke with the restoration of Jefferson High School and the renovation of the Shaftman Performance Hall. The hall brings world class music to the local community through the Music Lab, providing education and recording space for local children.
The Music Lab at Jefferson Center is working daily to pull from every social and economic class of the Roanoke community and create the next wave of real, human musicians. They host low cost or free after-school programs for any interested young people filled with visits by guest artists, private instrumental instruction, and recording training. Wafting out of the little studios and rehearsal rooms on the third floor of Jefferson Center, you can hear Afro-beat in Swahili, hip-hop in Liberian Kreyol, the blues coming from the guitar of a 13 year-old prodigy, and the undeniable sound of young musicians growing. It’s a thing that needs to be supported at all costs across this country, and by purchasing this record, you’ve done it.
A portion of every sale will go to the Music Lab at Jefferson Center.Read More
“Love in Flying Colors” is everything I thought it would be! After much anticipation I finally got to hear the entire album and once again I am not disappointed! I really did not expect to be as the combination of Nicolay and Phonte seems to be a divine situation! Song after song flows from one to the next and I’m a DJ, not a writer, it is a lot for me to express myself like this! I don’t have a favorite track as I love each one for it’s own unique flavor. All I can say is this will be an investment you will not regret! As a DJ, this is a slice of heaven for me, as this gives me so much dope music to play at my gigs!! Grab it right now on Amazon! Im thrilled to be able to share this with you guys! http://amzn.com/B00DYVUCGORead More
Backed by Makai Black on production, Merna delivers a hard hitting, commanding performance and song, with a warning to ‘Better Run’.
“Like nature, we must accept change and evolve. The journey continues as Merna. I’m so excited to share ALL of me with the world through this music and art”, said Merna in a handwritten letter to her fans via her instagram, last Thursday evening.
Merna is currently working on her upcoming album (tbr 2014) with Makai Black, Doc Mckinney (The Weeknd), and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest).
To listen to Merna – Better Run (produced by Makai Black)Read More