The Bass Mint Bros.
- Yusef Bey - Percussion, drums, keyboards
- Barry Hughes - Bass, Guitar
- Mwalim *7) - Hammond Organ, Piano, Keyboards
What do you get if you take a jazz organ trio, some solid, old school musicianship and recording techniques, and some music software? The Bass Mint Bros.; easily one of the most dynamic dance music groups to emerge in the industry. In the tradition of Booker T. & The MGs “Green Onion,” and Herbie Hancock’s “Head Hunters;” their forthcoming debut, “Sketches Of A Neighborhood,” offers a funky, ambient musical journey through a Saturday in the life of an underground club musician/ disc jockey. Using vintage, live instruments to create an album the blurs the genres of ambient house/ Afro-Beat, break-beat and jazz. The Bass Mint Bros first appeared in the early 1990’s during the rise of the British influenced Acid Jazz scene, where live bands, d.j.s and spoken-word artists came together as an underground dance music movement. Scoring some success with the independently released, ubiquitous 12" vinyl maxi-single, and innovative cas-single, “Valley Park Groove” by Yusef Bey, "It was a good way to get gigs back in the day. " recalls Bey, "Have a hot record and the djs who played the other nights at whatever bar or club you rolled through would pump your record. It would also find it's way onto local college radio." The revolving line-up of affiliated artists now resurrect the project of their youth as seasoned, 30-something year-old, seasoned and jazz trained musicians: Yusef Bey, keyboards and percussion; Barry Hughes, bass and guitar; and Mwalim, Hammond organ, piano, composition. Inspired by classic jazz recordings of the 1960’s and ‘70’s by Jimmy Smith, Herbie Hancock, Jimmy McGriff, and Grant Green, the band made good use of solid musicianship, modern technology, and old school recording techniques. As Yusef Bey explains, “we’ve all known each other since we were kids in the Bronx, playing music together. Back then, recording consisted of using two tape decks or if you were lucky enough to have a four-track, using overdubs, ping-pongs and what not. We used a lot of cut and paste punch ins to loop beats, all be fore computers came into the game.” Mwalim, a composer with a mastery of crafting lyrical melodies, explains how the music was composed. “We wanted to use hip-hop song forms, which is 24 bars as well as other unusual patterns for the songs from their, I’d work out a chord pattern and hum a melody, then work out the melody on the organ, trying to treat the organ like a voice. I’d play it through, Barry’d develop a bass line, Yusef’d fall in with the drums and it’d flow from there.” According to Rogelio Cruz of The Rare Groove Loft, “Any rapper worth their microphones should be lining up to drop lyrics over these beats, as the three cuts I heard … are truly sample-worthy…” 'Sketches of a Neighborhood' will be out in May 2008.