Written by Patrick Jarenwattananon from WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center
What would it sound like if someone bridged the gap between big band jazz and classic hip-hop anthems? Between Oliver Nelson and A Tribe Called Quest; between Freddie Hubbard and J. Dilla? One answer is offered by producer/emcee Brian “Raydar” Ellis and trumpeter Igmar Thomas. Between originals, standard jazz repertoire and orchestrations of rap beats (and the jazz records they sample), Ellis and Thomas align a multi-generational ensemble with a black music tradition that leads to the present day.
That big band bears the name of Revive Music Group, the concert production and online media organization that Ellis and Thomas started six years ago with fellow Berklee College of Music student Meghan Stabile. Jazz Night In America heads to Berklee to present a special live concert webcast of the Revive Big Band in conjunction with WBGO’s The Checkout: Live.