Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I just got off the phone with Bob Kendrick, director of marketing at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
I had called to inquire about the status of True To the Game, an album benefiting the museum. It features hip hop superstars Kanye West, T-Pain, Akon and Yung Joc.
The album was scheduled for release today, but I hadn't been able to find it. Kendrick told me that the record label and distributor decided to push the album back to February to coincide with Black History Month.
That got me to thinking about one of my pet ideas- an album benefiting the American Jazz Museum.
My model is Bird Up! The Charlie Parker Remix Project. The ambitious 2003 release features acclaimed rock, hip hop and electronic musicians rethinking Parker's sound. It doesn't always work, but it's never less than interesting.
I suggest that the jazz museum reach out to Kansas City's top hip hop artists and DJs. The initial list might include Tech N9ne, Mac Lethal, XV, Reach, Stik Figa, Heet Mob, Miles Bonny, XTA-C, Approach, SKU and Rich the Factor.
They could work with original recordings of Kansas City jazz legends. Even better, perhaps, Bobby Watson and his UMKC students could provide individually tracked cover versions of the classic sounds for the hip hop guys to manipulate.
Ideally, the local stars could pull in a few name ringers from outside Kansas City to give the project additional sales potential.
So, who's in?
(Original image by Plastic Sax.)