A Tribe Called Quest Meets Art Blakey and Mickey Bass
-- A little back story about the jazz musicians behind A Tribe Called Quest's song 'Excursions' --
Black Jazz News Staff
A Tribe Called Quest
It is a well known fact that hip hop artists often pay homage to great black jazz musicians by incorporating samples of their music in their songs and in their everyday lives-- just check out A Tribe Called Quest leader Q-Tip last week on Instagram playing serious jazz around the house as he rails against the Grammy's ridiculous snub last week. That travesty aside, who are often never written about when it comes to hip hop samples are the instrumental musicians from whom the samples are made.
One such sample is Mickey Bass's "A Chant for Bu" used in A Tribe Called Quest's song "Excursions" from their 1991 Platinum album "Low End Theory". "A Chant for Bu" was written by Mickey Bass when he was the bass player for the legendary group Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. The song was named after Blakey who was affectionately called "Bu"- short for his Muslim name Abdullah Ibn Buhaina. "A Chant for Bu" was recorded in 1973 on the Messenger's album "Buhaina".
Therefore, the next time you are grooving to "Excursions", you are actually grooving to these legendary Black Jazz musicians: Art Blakey, Mickey Bass, Cedar Walton, Woody Shaw,Carter Jefferson,Tony Waters, and Michael Howell. This also means that A Tribe Called Quest's platinum release brought the sounds of these musicians into the homes of millions of people-- millions more than they would have ordinarily been exposed to.
Bass, now 74, is one of the few jazz legends still around and he is currently keeping very busy starring in the new jazz sitcom Giant Steps TV Show (Pilot) out on Amazon.
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