This Thursday, Portland’s own Rosewater makes its first appearance at the River City Saloon. Rosewater has emerged as one of Portland's premiere purveyors of instrumental fusion music. The band synthesizes the best of rock, funk, electronica, and jazz into groove heavy jams that keep dance floors packed and ears turned towards the stage. For this reason they have shared the stage with legendary artists like Maceo Parker and Karl Denson,.
This Friday, Echo featuring Joy Askew travels from New York City for a night at the Saloon. On their eponymous debut, the New York duo puts a mesmerizing stamp on carefully-chosen jazz standards, as well as captivating originals. Echo Nakamura was born from NYC's live drum & bass scene. “I was seeing jazz re-emerging in a fresh way, because there's so much more technology to play with, and so many different directions you can go in, with drum and bass rhythms, and all the possibilities offered by electronics,” says Nakamura. And so the collaboration was born, stirring a new sound of old school jazz meeting electronica.
And on Saturday, it’s pure hip hop at the Saloon. In these days and times, rappers have become bogged down in a quagmire of wackery, selling the culture short in order to make the dollars offered by the mainstream. Being original is no longer important as cats have become content to be like the next man, repeating the same tales of jewels, cars and street life. Not only have the rhymes come to be devoid of substance, but the production has suffered as well. Bounce has taken over and beat-makers seem reluctant to tap into the full spectrum of musical possibilities.
Like the prophets of the Old Testament, there comes along an MC to remind his peers, and heads, what hip-hop truly is. "It's about the words with me," Madgesdiq says about his style. "I'm not gonna get rowdy-rowdy, I'm going to come with what this was meant to be – beats and dope rhymes.”