Led by saxophonist Rob Mitchell, Abstract Orchestra has been saluting hip-hop since last year’s Dilla album: an orchestral tribute to reflect the diversity of sampling by hip-hop producers, framing the complexity of jazz within simpler structures of hip-hop music.
And where do you go next after making a tribute to one of the best to ever do it? That’s right, to other masters who fit the same bill: Madlib and MF DOOM (“Just remember, ALL CAPS when you spell the man’s name”).
Mitchell’s Abstract Orchestra is based on classic jazz big band instrumentation including a brass section of saxophones, trumpets, and trombones. His band consists of musicians who collectively have played with the likes of Jamiroquai, John Legend & The Roots, Mark Ronson & Roots Manuva.
All tracks on Madvillain Vol. 1 were recorded live in their UK studio with very few overdubs. The tracks deconstruct the jazz and soundtrack elements of the originals off Madvillainy. Incorporated with big band compositions and a focus on improvisation. Rob Mitchell: “’Madvillainy’ is a jazz album as much as it is a hip-hop album and I wanted to explore this reciprocal territory there has always been between jazz and hip-hop. Arranging and scoring up ‘Madvillain Vol. 1’ has allowed me to explore these sounds that I’ve always loved. Yet keeping a strong hip-hop identity as the core of its sound.”
Listen to the new “Fancy Clown” as the first taster, followed by a free download link. Or pre-order the record over at HHV.de before the official release on November 2nd. And yes, “Vol. 1” means there will be a second album next year…