[ LOOK TO SEE ]
w/ Black Jack Johnson
NYC (2001) at The Bowery Ballroom
When I first met Living Colour, in Fort Lauderdale, Christmas week 2001, the subject of Hip-Hop became a topic of conversation between Will Calhoun, Doug Wimbish, and me. I was at a small local club called The Factory, as the creative director at JAZZIZ magazine, for a story I was doing with Calhoun, preceding his Native Lands (CD/DVD) release. Native Lands was something of a travelogue, following the drummer around the world, with his jazz band, into the Australian Outback, the Amazon Jungle, the Sahara Desert, and small, dark, and smoky New York City clubs. Speaking of Hip-Hop, I told Will and Doug that I liked the funky beats, but am disappointed when the MC is without a band. I quickly remembered a performance I had recently seen on HBO.
“It was called “Reverb,” and it featured this new Hip-Hop artist named Mos Def, and his band was fucking hot.”
Will looked up from his plate of backstage pasta, and said “That Was Us” … meaning he and Doug were the drum and bass in Mos Def’s band, Black Jack Johnson, that also included the legendary Funkadelic keyboardist, Bernie Worrell, and Bad Brains guitarist, Dr. Know. This was before I knew any of the musicians, not knowing that Doug was the bassist in the original Sugar Hill Records (“Rapper’s Delight”) house band and was the low end of many of the Hip-Hop anthems, including, “The Message,” “White Lines,” “Apache,” “8th Wonder,” “That’s The Joint,” and many more with Sugar Hill artists and with James Brown and Afrika Baambaatta
“Don’t Get Me”
All The Same People