The symbiotic relationship between hip-hop and jazz has led to classic records by everyone from Gang Starr to J Dilla to Robert Glasper. So it should come as no surprise that one of the most exciting new acts in music is blending the two genres—and then some.
BADBADNOTGOOD is a trio of gifted young players out of Toronto who got together because of their shared love of all things Odd Future and MF DOOM. It didn't hurt that pianist Matthew Tavares, bassist Chester Hansen, and drummer Alexander Sowinski had musical chops for days. We're talking the kind of ears that can just pick up a melody, jam on it, and then flip it into something completely different. That's how they started out in early 2011 when they reinterpreted Bangladesh's beat for Gucci Mane’s "Lemonade," then morphed into “Orange Juice,” the more hyped version performed by Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt.
Footage of BADBADNOTGOOD's home performances quickly made its way online and led to a small but ravenous following. The buzz built through a series of free albums and raucous concerts in their hometown that looked more like punk gigs than anything remotely related to jazz.
On April 3, the trio dropped BBNG2, an 11-track collection that effortlessly hops from murky originals ("Rotten Decay) to covers of James Blake ("CMYK") and Kanye West ("Flashing Lights"). It also includes a jam with Tyler, the Creator.
BADBADNOTGOOD's momentum hit another level when they were invited to Coachella to serve as the festival's house band. Oh, and they just happened to back up Odd Future crooner Frank Ocean, interpreting the woozy instrumentals off Nostalgia, ULTRA with ease.
Read on to find out what these talented jazz cats are all about, where they're playing live, and who they hope to jam with next...
As told to Andrew Martin (@andrew_j_martin)