GZA brings the years back to life at the Blue Note Jazz Club
It was a calm and quiet Wednesday night in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. With the streets barely crowded, some were heading home to end their evenings early, others heading to the metro for their night shifts, while scattered groups searched for a potential hubbub to start their night. New York City has an suis generis aura because not only is it one of the most renowned metropolises in the world, it is also the cultural center of the world. And on any given night, something amazing could happen around the corner.
Such was the atmosphere inside the intimate surroundings of the Blue Note Jazz Club. Founded in 1981, Blue Note’s motto is centered around preserving the history of jazz, according to their website. “The club is a place where progression and innovation – the foundations of jazz – are encouraged and practiced every night … while regularly featuring emerging artists from jazz, soul, hip-hop, R&B and music. funk ”and saw it as Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, Liza Minelli and Quincy Jones adorn their stage.
But that night, Blue Note did not welcome any developing talent, but rather two established hip hop legends. For two consecutive nights on August 24 and 25, Wu Tang Clan’s GZA headlined the culturally historic club accompanied by Talib Kweli and of course live music as the Phunky Nomads shared the stage with the two greats. hip hop.
So, on a pleasant summer night, the two Brooklynites performed a mix of records that reminded participants of a simpler time in the world. Fans lightly serenaded the club, singing some of the most recognizable GZA and Wu Tang Clan records and even album cuts.
GZA is a master at his craft, so it’s no surprise that he memorized not only his rhymes but those of his band mates as well, performing several lines from the late Ol ‘Dirty Bastard and other members of the Clan. . In a particular sequence, the Liquid swords the master of ceremonies began performing the Clan’s hit record, “Triumph”. You know, the one where Inspectah Deck “lyrically performs an armed robbery” before moving on to “Shame on an N *** a” and performing the ODB verse.
Live music only added to the atmosphere when the Phunky Nomads took control of each record, seamlessly blending between jazz, classical, funk, hip hop and rock instrumentation. They made each record their own, evident when GZA started playing “CREAM” with classical music (they even did a rendition of “For The Love of Money” by the O’Jays). Their choice of musical direction often kept audiences on the lookout, wondering what possible new twist they would bring to classic Clan records.
At 55, GZA continues its tour with 34 scheduled dates to come. To find out when and where to watch Genius live, click here.
Information on the weekly performances of the Blue Note Jazz Club can be found here.