Every time it storms in L.A., Twitter's flooded with references to singer and producer Raphael Saadiq's song with Tony! Toni! Toné!, "It Never Rains in Southern California." Not bad for a track that was released more than 20 years ago. But Saadiq's music has always had a timeless quality about it, whether in the form of a big-band horn section in "The Blues," the twang of a guitar in "If I Had No Loot" or his own pillow-talk tenor in "Ask of You."
His first solo album, Instant Vintage, pretty much sums up every record his golden finger has touched. He's written and produced for artists from D'Angelo, with whom he wrote the stripped-down "Untitled (How Does It Feel)," to Tha Boogie, for whom he produced a funked-up debut EP. We asked Saadiq about his favorite collaborations.
"I'm winning," he said. "Mary J. Blige, Marcus Miller, Joss Stone, Teedra Moses, Mick Jagger. Mick Jagger's team called, wanting me to play with him for the Grammys, and it just so happened the name of my new album is Stone Rollin'. Actually, the first single off the album is called 'Stone Rollin'.' I was throwing it away, and a friend walked into the studio and asked me, 'Are you crazy?' Next thing you know, it became the title track."
Now he's working with Quadron, which is opening for Saadiq's Stone Rollin' Tour.
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"He blogged that we were one of the artists he was listening to while making his new record," Robin Hannibal of the Danish duo says, a little dazed. Makes sense — their hazy, heartstring-scraping soul sound is just the brand of new that Raphael Saadiq turns classic. Raphael Saadiq, with Quadron, performs on Tues., March 22, 8 p.m., at the Music Box, 6126 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd. All ages.