Hand on the Torch was the debut album for the jazz-rap group Us3. It received much attention because of its mix of jazz and rap, using live jazz musicians. All samples used on the album are from old Blue Note classics: the most famous being Herbie Hancock's "Cantaloupe Island", used on the track "Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)".
In 2003 The Ultimate Hand on the Torch was released, including many of the songs used as sampling material on Hand on the Torch.
#"Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)" (Kelly/Simpson/Wilkinson/Hancock)
#"I Got it Goin' On" (Powell/Kelly/Simpson/Wilkinson/Wilson)
#"Different Rhythms Different People" (Simpson/Wilkinson)
#"It's Like That" (Powell/Simpson/Wilkinson/Parker/Rollins)
#"Just Another Brother" (Powell/Simpson/Wilkinson/Hubbard)
#"I Go To Work" (Powell/Simpson/Wilkinson/Monk)
#"Tukka Yoot's Riddim" (Taylor/Simpson/Wilkinson/Covay/Cropper)
#"Knowledge of Self" (Kelly/Simpson/Wilkinson)
#"Lazy Day" (Powell/Simpson/Wilkinson/Sample)
#"Eleven Long Years" (Taylor/Simpson/Wilkinson/Silver/Hancock)
#"Make Tracks" (Powell/Simpson/Wilkinson/Silver/Pearson)
#"The Darkside" (Kelly/Simpson/Wilkinson/Mizell)
Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) features samples from "Cantaloupe Island" as performed by Herbie Hancock, and the introduction from "A Night in Birdland, Vol. 1" by Art Blakey Quintet.
I Got It Goin' On features a sample from "Ronnie's Bonnie" as performed by Reuben Wilson.
Different Rhythms Different People features vocal samples from "Art Blakey's Comment On Ritual" and "At The Cafe Bohemia, Vol. 2" by The Jazz Messengers.
It's Like That features samples from "Alfie's Theme" as performed by Big John Patton and "Cool Blues" as performed by Lou Donaldson.
Just Another Brother features samples from "Crisis" as performed by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.
I Go To Work features samples from "Straight No Chaser" as performed by Thelonious Monk.
Tukka Yoot's Riddim features samples from "Sookie Sookie" as performed by Grant Green.
Lazy Day features a sample from "Goin' Down South" as performed by Bobby Hutcherson.
Eleven Long Years features samples from "Song For My Father" as performed by Horace Silver and "Blind Man, Blind Man" as performed by Herbie Hancock.
Make Tracks features samples from "Filthy McNasty" as performed by Horace Silver and "Jeannine" as performed by Donald Byrd.
The Darkside features a sample from "Steppin' Into Tomorrow" as performed by Donald Byrd.
Rap - Rahsaan and Kobie Powell (guest Tukka Yoot on Tukka Yoot's Riddim)
Trumpet - Gerard Presencer
Trombone - Dennis Rollins
Tenor Sax - Mike Smith
Soprano and Tenor Sax - Ed Jones
Guitar - Tony Remy
Piano - Matt Cooper
no:Hand on the TorchThis text has been derived from Hand on the Torch on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0
Us3 is a jazz-rap group founded in London in 1991. Their name was inspired by a Horace Parlan recording produced by Alfred Lion, the founder of Blue Note Records.Hand on the Torch booklet remark by Bruce Lundvall, President of Blue Note Records On their debut album, Hand on the Torch, Us3 used samples from the Blue Note Records catalogue, all originally produced by Lion.
Us3 is the brainchild of London-based producer Geoff Wilkinson. Formed in 1992 alongside production partner Mel Simpson, Us3 had two previous incarnations. The first, a limited edition white label 12" release in 1990 called "Where Will We Be In The 21st Century", featured rapper MC Honey B and jazz pianist Jessica Lauren. The release garnered the attention of independent label Ninja Tune, resulting in NW1's 1991 12" "The Band Played The Boogie" featuring London rapper Born 2 B. It sampled a dancefloor tune of the burgeoning jazz dance scene, Grant Green's "Sookie Sookie", originally released on Blue Note Records.
London's Kiss FM added "The Band Played The Boogie" to its playlist and Wilkinson received a call summoning him to EMI Records's offices in London. Wilkinson avoided a lawsuit and was granted rights to the archives of Blue Note Records . One of the resulting demos, recorded in March 1992, was "Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)." It sampled Herbie Hancock's Cantaloupe Island. Two years later, it entered the US top ten and was included on Hand on the Torch, the first Blue Note album to achieve Platinum status (1,000,000 sales) in the USA.
After several world tours with Us3, Mel Simpson left the group for other endeavours. Wilkinson initiated work on a second album in 1996, marshalling New York rappers KCB and Shabaam Sahdeeq to replace Rahsaan Kelly, Kobie Powell, and Tukka Yoot for the 1997 release Broadway & 52nd. The Blue Note samples became more embedded in the grooves and experimental tracks like "Snakes" (in 5/4) and the spoken-word "Sheep".
More touring followed, but personnel changes within Blue Note's parent company, Capitol Records, allowed Wilkinson to leave and sign to Sony, working with the A&R executive that initially signed him in 1992.. Blue Note samples were not included and two new vocalists joined the group: rapper Michelob, and singer Alison Crockett. However, before the album was complete, a major personnel change at Sony left Us3 in limbo. In 1994, Us3 appeared on the Red Hot Organization's compilation album, Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool, alongside other prominent jazz artists, Herbie Hancock and Roy Ayers. The album, meant to raise awareness and funds in support of the AIDS epidemic in relation to the African American community, was heralded as "Album of the Year" by Time magazine.
In 1994, Us3 appeared on the Red Hot Organization's compilation album, Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool, alongside other prominent jazz artists, Herbie Hancock and Roy Ayers. The album, meant to raise awareness and funds in support of the AIDS epidemic in relation to the African American community, was heralded as "Album of the Year" by Time Magazine.
Eventually the third Us3 album An Ordinary Day in an Unusual Place was released in 2001 by Toshiba EMI in Japan and Universal in Europe. The album itself represented a new direction for the group's sound, incorporating elements of drum 'n bass, Latin, and Indian music into the mix. Several European and Japanese tours took place throughout 2002, but there once again were major label personnel cuts that left Us3 without a label.
Eventually a deal was concluded and the fourth Us3 album Questions was released in Japan by Toshiba EMI in 2003. Brooklyn rapper Reggi Wyns and London-based South African female singer Mpho Skeef were the featured vocalists. “Questions” was the first Us3 album to be released independently (outside Japan). Two tours of Europe in 2005 resulted in 50 performances in 14 countries.
After the tour, the eclectic album Schizophonic was recorded. All members of the Us3 live band were featured, including Chris Storr, Ed Jones, Neville Malcolm, DJ First Rate, Mike Gorman, Sean Hargreaves, John Crawford, and Ernie Cranenburgh. Schizophonic also featured two new rappers, Akil Dasan and Gaston, both of whom Wilkinson found at New York’s underground hangout, the Nuyorican Poets Café.
The 2007 album Say What!? once again included rappers Akil Dasan and Gaston and added 21 year old R&B vocalist Adeline.
2007 live band personnel
*Geoff Wilkinson (beats)
*Bryan Corbett (trumpet)
*Ed Jones (sax)
*Chris Dodd (double bass)
*DJ First Rate (turntable)
*Mike Gorman/Sean Hargreaves (keyboards)
*Akil Dasan (rap)
*1993 Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) (EP)
*1993 Hand on the Torch
*1994 Tukka Yoot's Riddim (EP)
*1994 I Got It Goin' On (EP)
*1997 Broadway & 52nd
*1999 Flip Fantasia: Hits and remixes
*2001 An Ordinary Day in an Unusual Place
*2007 Say What!?
*2009 Stop. Think. Run.
ReferencesThis text has been derived from Us3 on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0