Hip-Hop 1942: Revive Da Live Brings Jazz & Hip-Hop to Center Stage at Le Poisson Rouge

Posted on by Alison Fischer

Raydar Ellis at "Hip-Hop 1942"

By NYC Grind Contributing Writer, Alison M. Fischer

Last Friday, February 27, Revive Da Live presented another killer live jazz and hip-hop performance with a diverse cast of talented musicians at Le Poisson Rouge in the Village.  The show, entitled Hip-Hop 1942, is the second installment of their “Flagship Series” which features groundbreaking collaborations between some of the top breakthrough progressive jazz artists and the hottest hip-hop performers to hit the stage.  

Revive Da Live’s aspirations of creating a new kind of unity within hip-hop and jazz–genres which are really just different branches of the same tree–come to fruition on stage at their live performances.  

The concept behind “Hip-Hop 1942″ was to fuse popular hip-hop songs with the music of its predecessors: the classic jazz standards from the 1940′s through the 1970′s.  Revive Da Live’s founder, Meghan Stabile also gave NYC Grind some insight into how her own experience gave birth to the concept of “Hip-Hop 1942″: 

“It’s called ‘Hip Hop 1942′ because that was not only a time where jazz was most alive, but it was also the year that one of the oldest and greatest jazz clubs opened. Wally’s Jazz Cafe in Boston was a huge influence in what I do now.  I worked there for almost 4 years while attending Berklee College of Music.  Wally’s introduced me to jazz and the history of it, which helped to inspire the motivation behind Revive Da Live.  It was there that I realized I need to do something to help this art form and the musicians who perform this beautiful, complex form of music, yet are so underappreciated.” 

The show kicked off with Dizzy Gillespie’s recognizable, “A Night in Tunisia,” which introduced the show’s feature MC’s, Raydar Ellis and John Robinson, who turned “Tunisia” into Gangstarr’s “Words I Manifest.”  John Coltrane’s “Impressions,” and Frank Mantooth’s “On Green Dolphin Street” were also featured in this show.

John Robinson


This was John Robinson’s first time appearing in a Revive Da Live showcase, but his performance did not disappoint the crowd, to say the least.  His presence on stage is affecting and his style commands the attention of everyone in the room.  Robinson (who has also worked under the name Lil Sci) has appeared on countless recordings since the mid-90′s, and released his most recent full-length EP, “Who is This Man?” in 2008, which was fully produced by MF Doom.

Later in the set we saw a guest appearance by Phonte, (of Little Brother & Foreign Exchange) who performed with John Robinson and Raydar on Jaylib’s “The Official” as well as the two final songs of the night, “Dreams” and “Good Clothes.”



Check out this video from the show:


DJ Ge-ology was Hip-Hop 1942′s feature DJ, who also played an 11:00 pm set before the show began at midnight.  Ge-ology has a unique sound which combines elements of hip-hop, electronic soul, and cosmic funk–a deadly combination for sure.  



The show also featured a lineup of top-class jazz musicians from NYC and beyond… For one, Marc Cary, who was the musical director of the band, is an accomplished pianist, composer, and producer, who has released over a dozen records since 1990, most recently “Focus and Abstrakt” in 2006.  He is also known for his Grammy-nominated work with Abbey Lincoln and Betty Carter.

Marc Cary


While the entire band flat-out killed it, my personal favorite highlight of the night was Casey Benjamin’s outrageous alto sax solo that had everyone in the audience on the edge of their hypothetical seats.   You can also check out his ultracool duo project with Nicky Guimond, HEAVy.  

Casey Benjamin


We also saw awesome performances from…  

Louis Cato – Drums  http://www.myspace.com/louiscato

Louis Cato is also a bass player and currently plays with Eric Krasno’s (of Soulive) new project, Chapter 2, as well as with Talib Kweli.

Louis Cato


James Casey – Tenor Sax   www.myspace.com/jamesmcasey

James Casey




Ben Williams


Etienne Charles


Corey King


Coming up this evening, Revive Da Live is brining a special 10-year anniversary party for Okayplayer which will feature ?uestlove at Le Poisson Rouge, with doors opening at 11pm.  Mention “Revive” for a $5 discount on the cover.

Photo Gallery from “Hip Hop 1942″ – by Alison Fischer

[nggallery id=15]

About Alison Fischer

NYC Grind Editor & Contributor
This entry was posted in Music and Art, The Latest and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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