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Posts Tagged ‘J Dilla’

RIP, Larry Coryell (February 19, 2017) The Godfather of Fusion

Posted by themusicsover on February 19, 2017

Larry Coryell
April 2, 1943 – February 19, 2017

Larry Coryell was a ground-breaking guitarist who has been credited as being a pioneer, if not THE pioneer of jazz rock fusion.  Born in Galveston, TX, Coryell was living in Washington state by the time he was in high school, and it was in and around the Yakima area where he began playing in bands after graduating.  During the  fall of 1965, Coryell moved to New York City where he played  and recorded with Chico Hamilton, and not long later, recorded and performed with Gary Burton.  As the ’70s dawned, Coryell was combining the sounds of jazz, rock, and eastern music to make a style of music most had never heard before.  He released his first album, Lady Coryell,  in 1968, and what followed was nearly 50 years of recordings that have influenced several generations of guitarists – both rock and jazz. His recordings have also been very popular with hip-hop producers and can be heard through samples on recordings by J Dilla, Jurassic 5, and DJ Shadow, to name a few. Over the course of his career, he played on over 100 albums and continued to make his own music and tour up until  the time of his death.  Larry Coryell was 73 when he passed away in his sleep on February 20, 2017, reportedly of natural causes.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.

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Died On This Date (July 5, 2011) Alphonso “Fonce” Mizell / Motown Hit Maker

Posted by themusicsover on July 5, 2011

Alphonzo Mizell
January 15, 1943 – July 5, 2011

Alphonzo “Fonce” Mizell was an American record producer and songwriter who, as part of the Corporation production team at Motown, penned and produced virtually every Jackson 5 hit between 1969 and 1971.  That list includes “ABC,” “I Want You Back,” and “The Love You Save.”  Mizell was also an accomplished musician dating back to his childhood when he, his brother, Larry Mizell and a school friend performed and recorded demos as a doo-wop group, the Nikons.  After high school, Mizell attended Howard University where he studied the trumpet under the great Donald Byrd.   Around this time, the Mizell brothers founded their own record label, Hog Records where they produced and released just one record, the Moments’ “Baby, I Want You,” which has been known to go for as much as $2500 to collectors.  Fonce eventually went to work for Berry Gordy at Motown where, besides the Jackson 5, he worked on hits by the likes of Edwin Starr and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas.  Following his tenure at Motown, Fonce and his brother Larry formed their own production team, known affectionately as the Mizell Brothers, but professionally as Sky High Productions.  They went on to produce several classic jazz albums for Blue Note which were recognized for their influence on jazz fusion and acid jazz.  Albums of note included Byrd’s Black Byrd and Bobbi Humphrey’s Blacks And Blues.  They also scored several disco-era hits including A Taste Of Honey’s “Boogie-Oogie-Oogie,” and L.T.D.’s “Love Ballad.”  The Mizell Brothers’ influence continued to reach a new generation of fans well into the 2000s thanks to samples popping up in songs by the likes of Guru, A Tribe Called Quest and J Dilla.  Alphonso Mizell was 68 when he passed away on July 5, 2011.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

What You Should Own

The Mizell Brothers At Blue Note Records (1973 - 1977 and Beyond) - The Mizell Brothers

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Died On This Date (February 10, 2006) J Dilla aka Jay Dee / Hip-Hop Producer

Posted by themusicsover on February 10, 2010

J Dilla aka Jay Dee (Born James Yancey)
February 7, 1974 – February 10, 2006


J Dilla was a respected hip hop producer who rose to prominence during the late ’90s.  He began getting noticed thanks to mid ’90s remixes for the likes of the Pharcyde, Janet Jackson and A Tribe Called Quest.  In 1997, Jackson’s “Got ’til It’s Gone” won a Grammy.  Even though Dilla produced it, he wasn’t credited, therefore didn’t receive the Grammy.  Dilla began releasing his own albums in 2000, each of which were moderately successful, particularly throughout hip hop’s underground community.  In 2003, he began collaborating with Los Angeles based producer and MC, Madlib.  Together they recorded as Jaylib.  Around that time, Dilla learned he was suffering from a rare blood disease that made it increasingly more difficult for him to get around.   His health continued to deteriorate over the next few years.  On February 10, 2006, 32-year-old J Dilla died of cardiac arrest.

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Jaylib - The Remix - Jaylib

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