Blame It On Mike Phillips

Mike Phillips, aka "A Jazzer with Swagger" (his words, not mine), is not only one of the premiere saxophonists of his generation, but he is famous for mashing up Jazz with Hip Hop and making it accessible to a new audience as one of the musicians behind the Hidden Beach Unwrapped series. He's taken urban radio hits such as "Ay Bay Bay" and "Shawty" and made them semi-bearable with his sax stylings. So it was only natural for Mike Philly to try his hand at Jamie Foxx's "Blame It On the Alcohol" at a recent concert. He put his saxophone aside and picked up his EWI with a talk box attached, which digitizes his voice live as he sings into the instrument. What I appreciate about this Mike Philly performance is that he showed love to Roger Troutman, the man who first made this sound popular back in the '80s, with one of his pop-up captions the video. In the same caption he even took a swipe at T-Pain, challenging him to "get from behind the studio computer and do it LIVE!" Ha! That'll be the day.

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4 Responses

  1. Can we refrain from calling this hi-tech treacle jazz? Yes, it has more musicality than T-Pain; yes, they are playing real instruments; yes, he's holding a EWI -- but this is hardly jazz. Instrumental R&B -- nothing more, nothing less. Let's call it for what it is.

  2. i love Mike Philly, but i had to quit him after "A Jazzer with Swagger.

  3. Herbie Hancock was the man that made the vocoder popular not Troutman.

  4. Acutally Billy Preston is the pioneer of the vocoder!


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