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DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE: Adrian Younge And Ali Shaheed Muhammad Recontextualize Jazz

By dru

DJ culture is proving to be an unheralded hero of jazz education.

Sometimes, it’s DJs and producers digging for rare breaks and samples that help develop a broader sense of jazz history—some of which has yet to be celebrated or just willfully redacted. Through DJ culture, we’re better able to connect the seemingly incongruent links among jazz, disco and dance music in the recorded legacies of Roy Ayers, Brian Jackson and Marcos Valle.

Those three artists—and a handful of others—appear on Jazz Is Dead 001, a head-nodding compilation produced by Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad.

“Hip-hop serves as a conduit to the past,” Younge said. “If it wasn’t for hip-hop, there would be a lot of music that I wouldn’t know. If it wasn’t for hip-hop, I wonder if I would have even known who Roy Ayers is. A lot of times in black culture, when we are done with something, we don’t go back. Hip-hop kinda changed that. Hip-hop is vinyl culture taken to the next level.”

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