Far, Far Beyond

Ahmad Jamal – Swahililand

One thing that is really enjoyable when looking at music you like is following a thread that a sample has woven through the years. One of my absolute favourites has to be Ahmad Jamal’s majestic Swahililand, from the album “Jamal plays Jamal”. Hip hop nerds will probably be familiar with his work; he has been sampled by many of the greats, and when you hear the quality of his music its easy to see why. Swahililand is an epic 9 minute journey of sublime piano, bass, strings and percussion – and that magical chord progression that the song is bookended by.

De La Soul – Stakes Is High

J-Dilla saw the quality, and in 1996 provided the title track to De La Soul’s album “Stakes Is High”, arguably the best track they have committed to wax. The sample provides the perfect backdrop for their heartfelt lyrics about the bastardisation of hip hop, and the negative impact this was having. This song represents one of the high points of 90s hip hop, if not all hip hop.

The Sunburst Band – Far Beyond

But as well as being able to soundtrack the best in boom-bap, Swahililand also found its way into Joey Negro’s Sunburst Band, in the shape of Far Beyond, from their 2004 album “Until The End Of Time”. A wonderful, summery burst of downtempo dance music, and the kind of song I simply can’t imagine anyone not liking. I don’t think I could ever play a summertime set outdoors and fail to drop Far Beyond in there somewhere. Close your eyes, think of a beach and a mojito, and curse the English winter.



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One Response to “Far, Far Beyond”

  1. toilet Says:

    I’ve not heard that that Joey Negro before -I’ll check that out. If you’re interested in source samples and all that I recommend checking out a mix of breaks I did last year which features Ahmad Jamal’s cover of The World Is A Ghetto among lots of other things: http://toiletries.wordpress.com/2009/04/30/hudsonbreaks-pt-iii-brand-new-breaks-mixtape/

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