Release Date: Oct 22, 2012
Record label: Stones Throw
Genre(s): Rap, Jazz
Dozens of recordings released since the mid-'90s feature Detroit's Karriem Riggins. Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Roy Hargrove, and Paul McCartney have sought his drum skills, while hip-hop fans know the name more for production credits on releases by Common, J Dilla, Slum Village, and Erykah Badu. A several-hour playlist of Riggins' best work would blow minds.
Though you may not have heard of Karriem Riggins, the list of artists he's associated with in includes some recognizable names. The Stones Throw drummer/producer has worked with everyone from Paul McCartney to Common and tours with Diana Krall, a fellow mentee of the late jazz bassist Ray Brown, who, in turn, played alongside Dizzy Gillespie and pianist Oscar Peterson. Though his new album Alone Together is his first solo offering, it sounds like the work of a vet and is a grand addition to the ever-expanding canon of instrumental beat tapes.
Karriem Riggins is a musician who single-mindedly refuses to be single-minded. As his new album, Alone Together, will inform you, Riggins stands “right at the intersection of jazz and hip-hop”. He’s the son of a jazz musician, and he has extensive experience as a jazz drummer, working with people from all over the spectrum, including big names like vibraphonist Milt Jackson and bassist Ron Carter and traditionally-minded singers like Diana Krall.
A riveting expression of gratitude for J Dilla, and for Detroit itself. Marcus J. Moore 2012 When producer James "J Dilla" Yancey passed away in 2006, he left a great void in Detroit’s underground hip hop scene. Dilla was not only the city’s central rap figure, he also influenced a new generation of composers with his percussive blend of cosmic soul.
Los Angeles-based Stones Throw didn't invent the breaks record, but the label has taken the concept and run with it. Their latest find, Detroit beatmaker and jazz drummer Karriem Riggins, has produced what could be the antidote to too much anodyne and predictable beatmaking coming from the US. Riggins - his real name - is something of an unsung hero, popping up Zelig-like on hip-hop records by Common, Slum Village and Erykah Badu.
For an artist with a career that spans several decades and genres, Karriem Riggins’s discography is remarkably spare. In fact, prior to the release of his debut LP, Alone Together (and the accompanying two-track 7″ record), Riggins had only a mixed CD, which included a handful of tracks produced by the artist himself, to his name. It seems almost as if Riggins has spent his whole career, from when he began as a jazz drummer in Betty Carter’s band at 19, stockpiling ideas and influences for his official debut.