Fourteen years ago today, a song appeared on the Billboard black singles chart with a sound that would define its era.
The record was “Cantaloop” (a.k.a. “Flip Fantasia”) by the British group Us3. Take an old Herbie Hancock beat, a live trumpet, a fun rap... wah-laa! You’ve got “hip-hop jazz”!
Around that time, Guru and Branford Marsalis also hybridized jazz and hip-hop. But Us3 scored with the monster hit.
Founded and led by producer Geoff Wilkinson, Us3 never stopped putting out albums in England. Off its 2007 release “Say What!?,” there’s a FREE MP3 available to those who are registered at AllAboutJazz.com.
(Go ’head and register... it’s easy and costs you nothing. Plus they have a reservoir of 932 free music tracks.)
If you’re registered, follow this link to get the Us3 download. The track is called “The Day That I Died.”
To hear it streaming on my Vox blog, click here.
The current lineup of Us3 features a pair of American rappers – Gaston and Akil Dasan – plus a singer named Adeline.
Musically, it ain’t about the old Blue Note samples no more; it’s about a swinging live band. And there’s not a damn thing wrong with that.