“Jazz Is Dead”
(Jazz Is Dead)
Musician-producers Muhammad and Younge assembled their group The Midnight Hour in 2013, but they put the project on hold while they worked on the score for the Netflix series Luke Cage. Five years later, they finally released Midnight Hour’s eponymous studio album, which featured contributions from vocalists Raphael Saadiq, Marsha Ambrosius and Bilal; in 2019, they followed with a live recording (Live at Linear Labs). Under The Midnight Hour flag, Muhammad and Younge rounded up vocalist collaborators for a track on their initial Jazz Is Dead recording (JID001). Fittingly, the song is titled “Jazz Is Dead” and it concludes the album with its thesis statement. Muhammad and Younge play all instruments, supplying everything from drums and bass to keyboards and saxophones. Choral vocalists, including Loren Oden from both of The Midnight Hour recordings and other Jazz Is Dead projects, further stir echoes of ’70s soul-jazz.