Listen: Westwood bumps into Jazzy Jeff | Jazzy Jeff Interview
You've got your new album coming out - tell us about that.
Jazzy Jeff: It's wild, man. You had the opportunity to just represent what makes you up as a producer. My thing covers a whole big spectrum, from Will Smith to Jill Scott. I love the music, so I just sat in the lab with the Touch Of Jazz team, and we just put together an album from Jill to Shawn from Boyz II Men... there's plenty of people on the album. I had to go back and represent all the turntablists out there too. Keeping it real, man.
What's on the arm?
That's a tattoo. That's the Touch Of Jazz logo. We're just trying to do some real music, some real stuff for the people.
Was 'A Touch Of Jazz' the one record that really put you on the map, that summed up what you represent?
Yeah, kinda. Because jazz and hip hop is very close, the whole improvisation, getting on stage and just freestyling, that's pretty much what a lot of the jazz musicians were doing back in the days. I kind of just fused the two together.
This album is a compilation...?
Well, I ain't really gonna call it a compilation. With A Touch Of Jazz productions, a lot of the cats we've got in the studio, we've got a real different thing going on. It's a big studio, a bunch of producers and song writers just representing for people who've got creative freedom. To not be on the clock, and just do joints and make music. It's having the creative freedom to just make a record with no reason. We make records not to do albums, just like, "I'm feeling it, let's make a record, let's put it in the can".
What's the name of the album?
'The Magnificent'. I went back to the day. It's on BBE, Barely Breaking Even in London. Giving people creative freedom is where I'm at right now. Coming off the Jill Scott project and being able to do what you want to do. To have that freedom to do what you want opened me up. To let people be free. There's a lot of cats out there that rhyme and produce. It's just giving them the ability to do it.
How do you like Miami?
I love it. It's kinda representing the same thing - it's free down here, the weather, the women, it's a big bilingual thing jumping off - I love it.
Will there be a tour involved with this album?
I still do a lot of dates. I've done a bunch of dates overseas and in Canada. I do stuff in the United States, but this is going to give me the ability to go out and just touch people. It's a little different trying to let people know where you were coming from and what kind of vibe you were, and not be limited. You ain't got to play a certain joint. Back in the day, that's what a DJ was about. A DJ was about breaking through records and putting people on the stuff that they weren't used to being put on, and that's where I'm at - playing classics you ain't heard in a while, to make you say, "That was my joint"!
What I love about Jeff when he comes to the UK is that he's got all the latest shit...
I live this man. I've been doing this a long time. Not a lot of people get to do what they really love, so I appreciate that.
You've got an album launch party in Miami...
It's kind of a launch party. It's a big BBE/Axis Entertainment party with Vikter Duplaix and James Poyser and Jay Dee... it's a mixture of a lot of cats from Philly. We're going to be playing a lot of music. Jazzanova's going to be there - that's going to be hot!