Various Suite For Weldon

Having just bought the classic Boogie Down Productions album By All Means Necessary, jazz pianist Weldon Irvine was a bit surprised to say the least when he heard KRS-One rhyming over his "Sister Sanctified” composition. Even though KRS-One had reconfigured his music into "My Philosophy,” Irvine was elated because he was already a bona fide hip-hop head. The former musical director for the late Nina Simone was sampled many times after this and he gave back, musically tutoring Mos Def & Q-Tip and producing a hip-hop compilation for Amadou Diallo, who was shot and killed under a hail of 41 bullets by New York Police officers. Tragically, Irvine took his own life in 2002, but the regard he had for hip-hop artists has obviously registered — the release of this EP is a benefit for his son. Under his jazz combo guise Yesterday’s New Quintet, Madlib’s "Suite For Weldon” is loose-limbed jazz-funk in several movements that opts for a strident rather than a sombre march into the distance. Mr. Dibbs brings a more abstract cut and paste approach that retains an improvisational flair. Breakestra’s note-perfect rendition of "Sister Sanctified” is the last entry before we hear a very short but poignant moment in concert from the man himself, ending a deserved tribute. (Stones Throw)