Conceived by Gerald Watson and produced by DJ 2-Tone Jones, SHAOLIN JAZZ – The 37th Chamber is a testament to the stylistic connection between both Jazz and Hip-Hop. It is a mix project whereby various Jazz songs and breaks are fused with a cappellas and vocal samples from the iconic Hip-Hop group Wu-Tang Clan. The music and lyrics are astutely crafted to match both in cadence and tone, with the Jazz selections used also helping to further accentuate the essence and intensity of the Clan. The initial inspiration for SHAOLIN JAZZ came by way of graphic designer Logan Walters who recreated a series of Wu-Tang album covers to resemble those of earlier Blue Note and Impulse Jazz album covers.
As the project came together it became apparent that it was going to be more than just a simple novelty piece. Much like albums by Digable Planets, Buckshot LeFonque, and Guru’s Jazzmatazz series, SHAOLIN JAZZ is a work of art that not only re-emphasizes the greatness of the artists involved, but serves to further the connection between Jazz and Hip-Hop, while also educating those unfamiliar about both genres. Moreover, hopefully fans of Hip-Hop will have a better understanding of the origins of the music they enjoy and Jazz aficionados will gain more of an appreciation for various aspects of Hip-Hop.
Click here for a free download of The 37th Chamber mixtape.