Celebrating Classics: Donald Byrd & Guru’s Jazzmatazz

Flip the Script had the great honor to meet both Donald Byrd and Guru on the Jazzmatazz London Debut (29 November 2000).

The gifted trumpeter Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II, (born December 9, 1932) was an American jazz and rhythm and blues trumpeter. A sideman for many other jazz musicians of his generation, Byrd is best known as one of the only bebop jazz musicians who successfully pioneered the funk and soul genres while simultaneously remaining a pop artist. He teamed up with the Mizell Brothers (producer-writers Larry and Fonce) for Black Byrd in 1972. It was highly successful and became Blue Note Records’ highest-ever selling album. The title track climbed to #19 on Billboard’s R&B chart and reached the Hot 100 pop chart, peaking at #88. The Mizell brothers’ follow-up albums for Byrd, Street Lady, Places and Spaces and Steppin’ Into Tomorrow were also big sellers,

In 1993 Guru released Jazzmatazz Vol. 1. Guru decided to take music to new heights by utilizing the brilliance of actual jazz musicians to produce the sounds to rhyme too. He merges his potent and forever meaningfull rhymes with beats and instruments directly from authentic lounge jazz. The album fuses an assortment of jazz talents both old and new, including Donald Byrd, Lonnie Liston, Roy Ayers, Courtney Pine, Branford Marsalis , and Ronny Jordan. He used the melodic voices of Carleen Anderson and N’Dea Davenport and collaborated with french rapper MC Solaar. The variety of guest artists adds diversity and originality to each track, and gives the album a distinct jazz feel. In its own right the album is a historical document of jazz and hip-hop starting to blend.

We pay tribute to both musicians and continue to celebrate their great legacy in music.

Guru & Donald Byrd - Nov 29 2000


Celebrating Classics with Floetry….the Songtress and Floacist

With the approach to the festive season and of course Thanksgiving, each week there is a free print with every purchase of the softback version of Flip The Script! This week the print is of Floetry and a special image of the duo in their prime.

After show party

After show party

Marsha Ambrosius (The Songstress) and Natalie Stewart (The Floacist) formed in 1999 recording two studio albums and one live album. Floetic was released in 2002, followed by Flo’ology in 2005. After moving to the US they shared a great writing talent working with artists such as Jill Scott, Bilal and Michael Jackson for whom Marsha penned the 2002 single “Butterflies“.

Celebrating Classics: Pete Rock & CL Smooth – Mecca & The Soul Brother

In anticipation of the Mecca and the Soul Brother 20th Anniversary UK tour Flip the Script continues the ‘Celebrating Classics’ series with a few pictures and video from the duo’s last visit. The duo return to London’s Jazz Cafe on the 28 Oct 2012….

“I was 14 years old with this drum machine in my room, I had 2 turntables a mixer and a tape deck. Before I got that machine I was making beats with a tape deck. I would over dub and keep pausing and pausing for the parts of the record I liked until I learned how to sample.” Once Pete Rock learned how to use equipment at his disposal he set out to make his mark on the music industry. The production technique was a skill known as ‘filtering’ that made 1992’s album Mecca & the Soul Brother and 1994’s The Main Ingredient so outstanding. Pete Rock pioneered a way of filtering out sound from original recordings so he could make his own beats. It made his sound and especially his blaring horns stand out. ‘Once I got the baseline and bottom beat, everything else comes easily’ The most famous example possibly being “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” (on which he uses a horn sample from Tom Scott‘s “Today”), Peter Rock has also used horns on several other productions such as “Straighten It Out”, Public Enemy‘s “Shut ‘Em Down”, Rah Digga‘s “What They Call Me”, and A.D.O.R.’s “Let It All Hang Out”.

Pete Rock & CL Smooth, London UK 2009


(words adapted from dominique the great radio)

Flip the Script Book goes to Canada BC…

The scenery and views are second to none, proving why British Columbia is firmly in the top 5 destinations to live. It also has a special record store which we discovered and now very pleased that the book is now stocked there! The Beatmerchant is a world ~ famous Record Store, a tourist attraction and one of the jewels of Steveston on the west coast of British Columbia. In fact, it is now so integral to the village’s cultral life that it’s existence  and permanence seem inevitable. The Beatmerchant stock New & Used Vinyl Records, CDs, Movies & Music DVDsConcert Posters, Books and T~Shirts. So Flip the Script finds another special place and continues to reach out overseas. Watch this space for more updates!  


Flip the Script book now stocked in the new Photographers Gallery!

We are pleased to announce that the ‘Flip the Script’ book has been added to the beautiful new book store in the Photographers Gallery. The Photographers’ Gallery Bookshop sells an extensive selection of photography books, cards, magazines and merchandise and a unique range of camera equipment. For those that are not aware the newly built space is the UK’s first public gallery dedicated to photography. We strongly recommend a visit if you are around Oxford Street (16-18 Ramillies Street, London W1F 7LW)

Celebrating 50 years of Jamaican Independence- Bob Marley Way – Brixton, South London 29.07.12

Bob Marley’s eldest daughter Cedella Marley attended the Marley Mellow Mood’s Re:generation Celebration street party in Brixton for the re-opening of Bob Marley Way, alongside headline act, chart topping UK rapper Devlin.

Bob Marley’s son Julian Marley and London based hip hop star Maverick Saber were surprise guests at the Marley Mellow Mood’s Re:generation Celebration event in Brixton yesterday for the re-opening of Lambeth’s Bob Marley Way.

Regeneration Celebration - Celebrating 50 years of Jamaican Independence

Art of Rap World Premiere ICE-T, Chuck D, Melle Mel & Raekwon Hammersmith Apollo 19.07.12

The Art of Rap World Premiere ‘Something from Nothing’ was special for many reasons. Ice-T makes a compelling directing debut with this documentary, and it was a rare sight to witness Ice, Chuck D, Melle Mel and Raekwon on the same stage.
The Q&A featured the perceived lack of female rappers in the film, As Ice Ice T explained this was not true but all deserve the right to have their voice heard right..MC Lyte and Salt(Salt & Pepper) add significant contributions giving their influences in the genre. Also did hip hop pave the way for the for the first black president? See Ice T’s answer to thisquestion here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU_2IrwE_vM The lyrical skill on display in this film is awesome as well as inspirations behind the albums. For example while Chuck D was making Fear of a Black Planet he was listening to Sly and the Family Stone. Rakim would listen to sounds from an open window in the neighborhood, when writing rhymes he would use 16 dots on a page then the ideas would flow. The photography and visuals are just amazing too…the New York and LA landscapes have to be seen to be believed. All though there are some significant names missing and through various circumstances, this documentary shows the sheer innovation and energy of these artists.

'Art of Rap' Film Premiere

Win a Signed Copy of Serena Williams Biography ‘Queen of the Court’

“You know I was always really very, very good,” Venus said at the time, grinning. “Serena, on the other hand, wasn’t very good at all. She was small, really slim and the racket was way too big for her. Flip the Script likes to celebrate talent and determination as well as a good read. This autobiography is just that.

The Serena story is incomplete without discussion of her relationship with her sister and tennis double partner Venus, who she describes as her best friend. Serena writes that in spite of her family’s belief in her capability during her formative years, outsiders, including players and the media, focused their attention on Venus. As a result Serena lived under Venus’ shadow for a long time. However, the underestimation of her abilities only motivated Serena to prove her detractors wrong.

In spite of the one year and three months age difference between the two sisters, Serena describes Venus as being very protective of her. Besides seeing Venus as a protector, Serena also sees Venus as a motivator. If there is one defining characteristic that defines Serena, it is her resilience in the midst of adversity. The autobiography is an honest account of Serena’s journey, from her humble beginnings as a three year old struggling to grip a standard sized tennis racquet on the Compton tennis courts, to her triumph as an eleven times (and counting!) Grand Slam winning tennis icon. To enter just complete the contact form at flipthescriptbook.com, good luck! Closing date 10 Aug 2012.

Hip-Hop on Trial! First ever global debate on hip-hop, but what do you think? Barbican UK

The event synopsis – Hip-hop doesn’t enhance society, it degrades it. Hip-hop divides the intellectual establishment: is it the authentic voice of the oppressed, of all the “wretched of the earth”, one that turns anger into poetry and political action? Or is it a glorification of all that holds back the chances of oppressed minorities? The advocate for the motion was Eamon Courtenay, advocate against was Michael Eric Dyson who had the audience on his side from early on, mainly through a very compelling delivery. Eamon supported the view that the ‘black man’s image has been destroyed by Hip Hop’ while Michael argued that what we think and what is the case is very different. It was emphasized that this event would encourage open date and it delivered there. Krs-One made the point that with regards to enhancing or degrading society, that ‘they can’t give us powers we don’t have’. And surely in support of Benjamin Zephaniah’s view that it is in fact politicians who are degrading society, who could argue that the genre is not in fact poetry and a social media in itself?

Rev Jesse Jackson, Civil rights activist & baptist minister , was clear that hip hop exposes contradictions i’e Iraq war and conflict with dubious motives, while there was another argument that we are ‘too hung up’ on language. Surely lyrics should not be taken in a literal sense but as a metaphor and a reflection of a democratic society? do we want to be told what to listen to and when…? John Sutherland, Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London has the last say for now: “90% of everything is crass”. W

Hip-hop on trial Panel Member

e really should focus on the 10% a little more. What do you think?

Celebrating Classics with the Pharcyde Bizarre Ride II 20th Anniversary

Welcome to the second installment of our celebrating classics series! After the release of the outstanding debut ‘Bizarre Ride II’ in 1992, The Pharcyde played their first London show at famous Jazz Cafe in July 1993. Now first of all we like to keep everything to do with a band we respect…see the ticket from this show at facebook.com/flipthescriptbook  Those were the days when tickets were customized! not the generic boring ones used today! Secondly, apart from the outstanding vocals, jazz samples and fresh beats on the LP, the artwork was just amazing. Delicious Vinyl is a label we always loved and still do so it was a given to go and witness (for £8.00!!) the very first live show in London.

Now to celebrate Bizarre Ride II 20th Anniversary Flip the Script has dug deep in the archives and uploaded a rare recording of this special gig for “yo listenin pleasure” http://soundcloud.com/flip-the-script/pharcyde2-ed

We also managed to catch Fatlip’s Dj set in London in February where apart from playing a diverse selection of tunes, he rocked the place with a live version of ‘Passin me by’-  priceless.