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Snowbound Jams: Hear what DJ Jazzy Jeff and James Poyser did during Winter Storm Jonas

DJ Jazzy Jeff | Photo courtesy of the artist
DJ Jazzy Jeff | Photo courtesy of the artist

Inspired (or trapped?) by the Winter Storm Jonas, two Philly legends – DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Roots’ keyboardist James Poyser – were holed up in the studio and took it upon themselves to craft a wonderfully chill little EP of hip-hop / future soul instrumentals. Composed in about four hours and mostly consisting of live drums, spacey synths and electric pianos, Snow Beats has the feel of an early 2000’s Black Lily-era winter jam session. Continue reading →

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King Britt, Dozia, Questlove and the Back2Basics family had a high-energy reunion at Hard Rock

DJ  PHSH, King Britt and Questlove | Photo by John Vettese
DJ PHSH, King Britt and Questlove | Photo by John Vettese

The first time I heard King Britt was over the sound system of the HMV on Walnut Street back in 2001. I knew of him via City Paper and Philadelphia Weekly stories about Back2Basics, the party he and DJ Dozia threw at Silk City (which I was never cool enough to attend). The song coming from the speakers was “Happiness” featuring Lady Alma, and it blew me away. I immediately walked over to the Dance section, found the album under his moniker of Sylk-130 titled Re-Members Only” and skimmed the track list and collaborators: Alison Moyet, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Kathy Sledge, Grover Washington Jr.

It was a love letter to sitting at home on a Saturday night and listening to stations like Power 99 who, back in the 80’s, would play everything from quiet storm to rap to Madonna. It’s an album that still is miles beyond most in capturing that time for listeners who missed out.

When I heard there was going to be a Back2Basics reunion, I was itching to go and finally experience what I never got a chance to back when the event was a regular thing. Continue reading →