Two members of the hip-hop/jazz band, Sidewalk Chalk got together with singer Angéle Anise, for a sultry cover of Kendrick Lamar’s, “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe’ featuring Charlie Coffeen on piano. The tone is set with a ambient lounge intro, followed by the gentle, jazz beats of drummer Tyler Namberg. This potent stripped down combo vibes off the ghosts of be-bop’s past while staying rooted in the more mellow side of hip-hop’s boom-bap. When Anise’s vocals chime in she stirs the organic mixture of past, present and future. Her voice, part Sarah Vaughn-smooth, part Gladys Knight-gospel, reminds us of a time when neither auto-tune mind tricks nor uninspired vocal aerobics were needed to evoke emotion…a time when the healing properties of the blues still reigned supreme. So with righteous intent, they discard the white noise that dominates so-called Urban Contemporary formats today and something remarkable happens–soul music.
So forget about ‘losing’ at the Grammys Mr. Lamar, aside from saving hip hop, you’ve inspired the purest slice of hip-hop jazz that hasn’t been heard for some time now. Mark down the date of February 25th, the release of Sidewalk Chalk’s sophomore effort ‘Leaves’. Yes time travel may now be possible.