Monday, June 16, 2008
Jazz Vs. Hip Hop: A KC Encounter
Jazz trio video footage from First Friday
Jazz battled hip hop on First Friday. Hip hop won.
It's no secret that all types of music are appreciated at the Plastic Sax office complex. We like to hear Thelonious Monk sandwiched between Jay-Z and Willie Nelson, just as we enjoy heavy metal concerts no less than jam sessions at the Mutual Musicians Foundation.
Even so, the epiphany I experienced June 6 on 18th Street came as quite a shock.
Two live performances were taking place less than fifty yards from one another. The first-rate jazz trio (photograph and video footage above) featured Dave Creighton on organ, Jack Blackett on sax and drummer Steve "Duck" McLane. The skilled musicians are excellent. Furthermore, Blackett and McLane were members of one of the best Kansas City bands of all time.
But the hip hop show by the Soul Providers (photograph and video footage below) down the block was far more dynamic and exciting. A furious MC battle evoked the spirit of the fabled 12th Street cutting contests of Kansas City's jazz era heyday.
The immediate, stark contrast was a revelation. Although my love of the form hasn't wavered, no longer can I pretend that jazz is particularly relevant in today's world.
Soul Providers video footage from First Friday
(Original photographs by Plastic Sax.)