Jazz and All That
You know, we like to think we've got pretty good taste in music (we'd like to meet someone that doesn't think that about themselves). For our part, we wear our inspirations pretty squarely on our sleeves, but we've always done our best to ignore the stereotype of the cafe full of brooding hipster tunes. We've been lucky enough to put out some incredible collaboration with folks of all genres, but today we're talking about Jazz. More American than Apple Pie (which we'll remind you comes from England) and twice as sweet, here's a look at some of the more syncopated projects we've taken on over the years
2014 - Astro Black
A collaboration between Chicago Jazz Fest, Corbett vs Dempsey art gallery, Philly's King Britt, and ourselves to pay tribute to what would have been Afro Futurist and Arkestra leader Sun Ra's 100th year on this planet. While he wasn't born in Chicago, it's inarguable that Ra was shaped by his experience during his time here. Or maybe it was the city that was shaped by its experience with him? You decide.
Like the disparate sounds that led to his cosmic approach, Corbett vs Dempsey provided four colorways of their super-sonic design to combine with King Britt's reinterpretation of Space is the Place, which you can listen to below. This was followed by a live performance by King Britt hosted by Chicago Jazz Fest at Constellation the day before Sun Ra's birthday.
As a bonus, our own Minister of Groove Marc Bonadies also put together this mind blowing mix dedicated to Sun Ra as well!
2016 - Robert Glasper Experiment - ARTScience
In our eyes, there aren't many - if any - echelons of jazz that exist above Blue Note Records. We'd also like to argue there are few modern pianists that can look further into the future than Robert Glasper for that matter. Needless to say when approached with the opportunity work with Mr. Glasper and his upcoming album ARTScience on Blue Note we jumped. In addition to selling the coffee alongside the vinyl, we hosted Robert and his crew for a backyard barbecue at our Star Lounge location, which featured guest dj's, a listening party of the album, and a media interview where we heard Robert wax poetic on "What is Jazz?"
2019 - Vinyl Freak with John Corbett
Vinyl Freak, Love Letters to A Dying Medium is a book celebrating crate diggers and vinyl junkies. Author John Corbett compiled an exclusive mix to celebrate and contemplate the desire that drives everyone to acquire those dusty fingertips. John is a long time friend and collaborator of DMC, having helped us release the Sun Ra inspired Astro Black coffee back in 2014.
Discussing more than 200 rare and out-of-print LPs, Vinyl Freak is composed in part of Corbett's long-running DownBeat magazine column of the same name, which was devoted to records that had not appeared on CD. Perfect for vinyl newbies and veteran crate diggers alike, Vinyl Freak plumbs the motivations that drive Corbett and collectors everywhere.
In 2018 we were one of the proud sponsors of the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, and spent our time handing out coffee over a chilly September weekend. Rather than being held in one centralized location, the festival takes a more intimate approach by holding a number of concerts in venues spread throughout the University of Chicago campus and surrounding neighborhood. Some of the highlights were performances by Ben Lamar Gay, Brandee Younger (who also gave an incredible talk on the legacy of Alice Coltrane), and Junius Paul.