David Axelrod, the legendary LA-based jazz/funk/breakbeat king whose work has been heavily sampled by hip hop producers, will perform some of his classic tracks live for the first time ever (though he did do something similar in London in 2004) this spring as part of the Timeless Concert Series, a four-show Sunday series “honoring the arrangers/composers that have influenced hip-hop since the 1970s.” The series commences the first week of February. Axelrod will perform the final of the four performances on Sunday, April 5.
And that show would be enough to make fans of classic rhythms giddy, but the other three shows are just as inspired. We're particularly pumped about the inaugural concert on February 1, which features Mulatu Astatke, the so-called “Father of Ethio-Jazz.” His work is uniquely identifiable by both its both African-accented beats and Ellington-inspired horn arrangements, and is most widely known due to its appearance on the classic Ethiopiques, Volume 4 collection, and by its appearance in Jim Jarmusch's film Broken Flowers.
The other two evenings will feature Carlos Nino and Miguel Atwood Ferguson's “Suite for Ma Duke,” a piece for orchestra inspired by the work of the late hip hop producer J Dilla, and dedicated to Dilla's mom. As well, Brazilian jazz-funk composer Arthur Verocai will perform with a 30-piece orchestra, with Madlib and DJ Nuts on the turntables. We'll write more about these shows as they approach.