Trombonist Wayne Henderson has been in the music business for the past 50 years. At the age of 68, he is taking the bebop gallops of Dizzy Gillespie and the swinging trapezals slides of Sonny Rollins into a new era for future generations to enjoy. He is not re-making these jazz lexicons but moving them into the hip-hop medium and forming a new genre in the jazz family which he calls Jazziphop. Keyboardist Bob Baldwin is also adapting to hip-hop themes and juxtaposing them with classic smooth jazz idioms proving that there is a growing need for jazz musicians to move with the times before jazz music becomes a ghost town. Henderson’s band the Jazz Crusaders have made jazz music for the hip-hop generation to latch onto with their latest release Kick The Jazz. Henderson’s impetus is to stay connected with the modern generation by making contemporary music that can be played alongside Outkast and The Black Eyed Peas.
Assisting Henderson in creating a jazz/hip-hop fusion are rap artists E. Dooney and Brenda Pierce along with a host of musicians who have a modern approach to hearing and making jazz. The album embraces hip-hop without compromising the bewitching character of jazz music. For instance, Dooney’s rap performances on the track "Welcome To The New Year" has been compared to Isaac Hayes, and Brenda Pierces’ vocal style is nothing short of displaying Missy Elliot’s control and pulsating vocal thrusts on the song "I Want A New Man." The African chants of "Goin’ Tribal" is engaging, and the trail of club beats along "Dance Floor" have urban-pop modulations. The Jazz Crusaders’ re-working of Henderson’s song "Younger Rabbits" wipes off the dust on a 50 year old tune giving it a face-lift that contains an upbeat tempo and tweaked by edgy synth effects played by Niqo.
Henderson and his band the Jazz Crusaders make a statement about jazz music, that it is time for jazz to move with the times instead of taking audiences back in time. Produced by Henderson, Kick The Jazz fuses hip-hop rhythms and rhymes with jazz melodies for younger generations to enjoy. Jazziphop does not copy Wil.I.am’s music, but it is music that he can feel inspired by and connect to, just like others of his generation.