I was showering the other day, pondering my jazz roots and thinking about when I first listened to jazz. I was trying very hard to connect with the younger me, to understand my mindset, but to no avail. Naturally, it wasn’t until I was on the tram that it hit me. For some bizarre reason, I do my best thinking on the tram.
The answer to my question was hip-hop. The question itself: how did I get into jazz? Or perhaps, where did it all begin?
Hip-hop. Two words and a hyphen. Hip-hop was my formal introduction to jazz.
This really shouldn’t come as a surprise. Artists like The Last Poets and Gil Scott-Heron read their poetry over beats and jazz tunes in the ‘70s but it was still a few years before hip-hop really got started, and we have a Jamaican named Kool Herc and his giant sound system to thank for that. Continue reading