Thursday, February 9
David Axelrod’s Hip-Hop Influence in 7 Highly Sampled Songs
"David Axelrod, who passed away over the weekend at age 83, was for a while something of an unsung hero of production and arrangement. During his most active years, from 1963 to 1970, he was an A&R man and producer for Capitol Records, with his two biggest commercial successes coming in the form of Lou Rawls' velvet-smooth R&B and Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley's funk-crossover soul-jazz. Through those two artists, you get a strong sense of what Axelrod was capable of bringing to the table: a composer and arranger as comfortable with grand symphonic gestures as he was with direct-hit funk. He could make a record sound like it belonged in a small country church or a massive cathedral, whether the spirituality was explicitly divine or subsumed in something more personal. Aside from Isaac Hayes, virtually nobody's compositions could hit that sweet spot between 'beautiful music' opulence, uncannily strange pop-psychedelia, and deeper-than-deep soul quite like Axelrod. ..."