Friday, December 7, 2012

Alone Together

by Karriem Riggins

Karriem Riggins is one of those artists whose names I've always kept an eye out for, yet have always found difficult to find.  It amazes me that this is his first album, despite his having spent years in the music industry, playing drums and producing.

He bridges the worlds of jazz and hip-hop effortlessly, although it is his hip-hop work that has always caught my eye, especially since he's worked with people like J Dilla, The Roots, Erykah Badu, and Madlib.

Alone Together is a collection of 34 instrumental tracks that he produced, mostly using an MPC 3000 or 5000.  As expected, these tracks a terrific, as Riggins marries his two musical disciplines into a series of short tracks that highlight his beat-making skills.  Riggins is an artist who deserves more recognition, and my hope is that this album will lead to more production work for him, as his blend of Detroit hip-hop with jazz is something I'd like to hear more of, and hear more people spit over.

There is, of course, a Dilla tribute track at the end of the disk, and that is fitting, as Dilla's influence is all over this album.

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