over the coming month of Feb (known as Dilla Month) i will be once again spotlighting different tributes from around the world ranging from music, writing and artwork to the always great and always late James Yancey (aka Jay Dee/J Dilla). starting with this awesome Dilla piece by Aivy B.
u can squizz more of Aivy’s work at her official website. and of course another happy bday to the man himself who influenced and continues to influence legions around the world (his bday was on the 7th).
i know i know, it’s gonna be April soon and i’m still posting Dilla Month shit. what can i say, sometimes i make moves like a tortoise, FULL o’ rigor mortis (i dunno why that quote popped into my head, i guess it’s always been stuck in there). regardless, i’m pushing on into the coming month with more Dilla greatness. apart from a mix of his beats n instrumentals, i’m also working on compiling all the various Dilla tributes into one collection (there are more out there then ppl know of). but to tide myself over i’ve upped a Dilla Joint to YouTube, it’s from a bunch of live re-interpreted Dilla beats from last year played by none other than The Roots.
Make Em NV appears on the Ruff Draft EP. OG version below.
okay, i realise technically Dilla Month is over at the end of Feb, and in the southern hemisphere it is already the 1st of March, but since i got a late start in the celebrations & whatnot i’m extending Dilla Month probably for another 2 or 3 weeks, just cos there’s still a few cool Dilla-related items i would like to share (chief among them a mix by yours truly that highlights nothing but Dilla beats and instrumentals, including some obscure shit). what is TIME, anyway? a man-made concept that i choose to bend to my wants and needs as a lover of music and all things J Dilla…is what it is..in case u thought that was a rhetorical question (was it…? ok i’ll stop now). a little while back i posted up a live performance of jazz trio Stray Phrases very expertly covering and re-interpreting Dilla’s Donuts album from back to front (originally posted by Metal Lungies). since then the performance seems to have taken on a life of its own (at least among the ever-growing circle of Dilla heads), for they re-appeared on Feb 3rd to again pay tribute by playing the album in their own jazz/fusion style. this time the recording comes courtesy of live music recording stalwarts All The Way Live, and i’m told the quality of the recording this time around is way superior to the 1st.
Stray Phrases are Storm Siegel (drums), Dave Mainella (piano) & Evan Crane (bass).
[original blog post + link here].
Dilla tributes have come in many interesting forms over the years since his passing in 2006. one of the richest and coolest ones has been the awesome efforts of Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and his Suite For Ma Dukes Orchestra re-interpreting Dilla’s classic productions. here are some clips of a few of em. i’m told there was a full dvd of these released at some point last year.
it’s taken me almost all month to work up the emotional fortitude to really blog my little broken heart out about James “J Dilla/Jay Dee” Yancey, a true musical spirit who departed our plain of existence on Feb 10, 2006 due to an on-going battle with lupus. i feel like, instead of giving some half-assed tribute, i wanted to make a string of “Dilla Month” posts from now until the end of the month spotlighting all things Dilla, and really concentrate on how he changed MY life and how i approached music (so i guess a more introspective personal take on his lasting legacy). i would however like to begin with a documentary video shot and compiled by long-time Okayplayer affiliate BKyle, most of the footage being from 2006 (post-funeral) mixed in with some rare live footage of Slum Village performing, and candid scenes of Dilla’s fam + extended fam (including testimonials from Common, Bilal, Erykah Badu, ?uestlove (of The Roots), Pete Rock, James Poyser, Karriem Riggins, Houseshoes, Phat Kat, Dwele & others).
props to BKyle & The J Dilla Project, which are hosting the video on their website via Vimeo: The J Dilla Project.