The Midnight Hour is the big, high-power band that swirls, snaps and grooves around the creative nucleus of A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammadand L.A. composer-producer Adrian Younge. No doubt, that Tribe credential leaps out like a lion. But focusing too much on it would be missing much of the point here.
While Tribe wove jazz into hip-hop and found one of the most peanut-butter-and-chocolate combinations in modern music, the Midnight Hour is a full-on jazz revelation. Yes, there’s some orchestral flourish, hip-hop kick and miles of soul in there, but there’s little doubt what beats at the core here.
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