The Midnight Hour feat. Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge, Jack Waterson, Loren Oden, Angela Munoz

Event Date/Doors Open: 
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 8:00pm
Event Time: 
9:00PM
Cost: 
$12 Advance, $15 Day of Show

On Wednesday, November 6, the Community Center for the Performing Arts and KLCC proudly welcomes The Midnight Hour back to the WOW Hall.

Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest and composer and producer Adrian Younge have announced an extensive North American fall tour for their 10-piece ensemble The Midnight Hour. Younge and Muhammad created the score for the Netflix series Marvel’s Luke Cage and their newest project includes vocalists Loren Oden and Angela Muñoz as well as guitarist Jack Waterson.

"The Midnight Hour is black excellence," a release announcing the tour explains, describing the group as, "an ode to the cultural sophistication that the Harlem Renaissance established for its people. Performing with their jazz rhythm section and an orchestral section reminiscent of maestros such as David Axelrod and Quincy Jones, The Midnight Hour is sophisticated hip-hop.”

 

ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD

 

DJ/Producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad is known around the world as one-third of the legendary hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, but he began his musical career in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York. It was there that his uncle, Michael Jones, a bass player and DJ himself, pulled aside 8-year-old Ali and began teaching him music.

Ali spent years DJ-ing parties in his Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood and recorded a slew of demos before co-founding Tribe in 1985 with Q-Tip, Phife Dawg and Jarobi. He was just 19 when the group released its first album, People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, in 1990, and four more followed: The Low End Theory (released in 1991); Midnight Marauders (1993); Beats, Rhymes and Life (1996); and The Love Movement (1998). All went either gold or platinum, with The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders both widely considered hip-hop classics. The group’s socially conscious lyrics – coupled with their unique production: heavy on jazz, funk and ’70s rock samples – helped push it to the forefront of rap, and scores of current artists/producers, including Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Will. I. Am, cite Tribe as an influence.

Though Tribe disbanded in 1998, the group’s place in hip-hop’s pantheon has long been secured.  Tribe, however, is just one representation of Ali’s talent. He formed the production company The Ummah in the ’90s with Jay Dee and Q-Tip, and he’s worked with a wide range of artists, including Faith Evans, Mos Def, and D’Angelo, the last of whom he collaborated on the Grammy-nominated single, “Brown Sugar”, in 1995. That song led the way for the “neo-soul” movement, making possible the rise of such performers as Erykah Badu, Musiq Soulchild and Jill Scott. Ali has also remixed songs for Janet Jackson Maxwell, Maroon 5and KRS-One. In all, he has credits as writer, producer or co-producer on over 23 albums.

Ali also has a sharp eye for talent. Seeking to gain insider’s perspective on the record industry, he took a job in 1996 as an A&R for Quincy Jones’ Qwest Records. While there, he scouted and tried to sign Corey Glover, Common, The Black Eyed Peas and The Neptunes. Qwest passed on all.  Though he soon returned to his own artistic ambitions, it is worth noting that Ali’s instincts were correct: those artists have gone on to sell millions of records.           

Ali has also built up a solo career, beginning with his 2004 debut LP Shaheedulah and Stereotypes, featuring the dance song “All Night”.

 

ADRIAN YOUNGE

 

Adrian Younge is the next generation of soul music. A self-taught musician and recording engineer who has dedicated his life to the study of classic soul music, Younge finds himself at the center of a new soul renaissance with a vision for pushing the boundaries of the music itself.

Beginning in 1998, he taught himself how to play various instruments to fully realize his vision; a soundtrack to a fictional film titled Venice Dawn. Recording the album over the course of the next year, he developed a sound that is equal parts Morricone, Air, and Portishead. Self-released in 2000, the moody, synth-drenched album was entirely composed, arranged, played, and recorded by Younge himself.

Eight years later, Younge would find himself at the center of the Black Dynamite phenomenon. Instrumental in the film’s development, Younge not only edited the film, but also composed the original score, which was hailed as a modern blaxploitation masterpiece, solidifying himself as a force to be reckoned with, composing music for the accompanying cartoon series for Adult Swim.

In 2009, Younge envisioned a new sound that would revisit his earlier, more baroque instrumental work, and mesh it together with the deep, gritty soul of Black Dynamite, releasing material under the moniker Venice Dawn. 

In spring of 2013, Younge released Adrian Younge Presents the Delfonics (Wax Poetics Records), co-written with William Hart, as well as Twelve Reasons to Die, a concept album with Ghostface Killah on RZA’s imprint, Soul Temple.

Since then, Younge has launched his own record label, and completed work with Souls of Mischief’s, a sequel to Twelve Reasons To Die, and produced albums for Bilal, and A Tribe Called Quest alumn, Ali Shaheed Muhammed.

“I aspire to be the modern day Quincy Jones. I consider myself a composer, not a beatmaker. Beatmakers make ten beats in a day, I try to make one good song every two or three days…”

 

LOREN ODEN

 

Born into a musical family in Compton, Ca., Loren Oden grew up in the church.  This served as an incredible training ground for Oden, where he not only studied gospel, but secular greats like Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke. Being that those icons were bred in the church, Loren discovered sanctity in using his voice as a spiritual guide for love: a way to express his vulnerability, passion and struggles with handling reciprocal affection.  Oden’s transparency, or in other words, connection to people is what makes him one of the most captivating vocalists of the modern era. 

Oden’s fledgling career gained momentum as a prominent background vocalist for Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Kirk Franklin, Erykah Badu and Neyo, to name a few.  Within a couple years, his long-time colleague, composer Adrian Younge, enlisted him as the lead vocalist for the cult classic, Black Dynamite, a blaxploitation parody theatrically released in 2009  This was the beginning of Oden becoming the melodious bedrock of Younge’s psychedelic sound.

Music has allowed him to transcribe his emotional tussles; it’s one of the reasons why Oden sings lead on most of Younge’s melancholy catalog, including but not limited, to The Midnight Hour, Something About April, and Marvel’s Luke Cage (scored alongside Ali Shaheed Muhammad).  This is also the reason why Younge has decided to produce Loren’s debut LP, My Heart, My Love.  Their collaborations have served as a means for Oden to not only harmonize his story, but to travel the world doing it with extensive touring.   

Loren has also written and recorded for many artists such as Snoop Dogg, Common, The Delfonics, Ghostface Killah, and Bilal.

 

ANGELA MUNOZ

 

Angela Munoz, a 17-year-old Los Angeles native, debuts her hypnotic voice with.  This prolific artist is a prodigy, writing and singing music beyond her tender years.  Her captivating voice carries strength and prowess, cultivated by a myriad of first-hand experiences and training in the art of sound.  

Munoz recalls “Welcome to The Jungle” by Guns N Roses, as the catalyst that sparked her desire to become a star.  She began to play instruments such as guitar and piano.  With practice, Munoz began to dominate singing competitions, leaving unexpected audiences in a trance.  She trained herself by attending a performing arts middle school and high school in the heart of Los Angeles. There, she became obsessed with collecting new and old vinyl.  As an avid music collector, artists such as Nirvana, Donny Hathaway, Erykah Badu, A Tribe Called Quest and Cortex began to make an imprint on her sound. 

A few years ago, her brother introduced her to Something About April, a record produced by Adrian Younge. The quality of the music left her intrigued. She thought it would be interesting to create a project that encompassed various perspectives, as Younge provides with his analog recordings. Shortly thereafter, she serendipitously found herself working with “The Midnight Hour”, a group comprised of Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (formally of A Tribe Called Quest).  In 2018, they debuted her song “Bitches do Voodoo” on their eponymously titled album The Midnight Hour; they also took Angela on tour, featuring her on NPR’s Tiny Desk.  

Angela Munoz is an old soul that finds solace in the sound of an orchestra, turntables, or the randomness that fuels her youthful energy; a prodigy who stands by her uniqueness, even if it doesn’t satisfy the status-quo.  She believes the heart of music is emotion and this is where she finds her personal liberty and strength.  With her commanding presence, she is destined to become a cannon in music for years to come. 

 

JACK WATERSON

 

Jack Waterson is the acid that Adrian never took as a kid. The result, as you’d expect, is both colorful and dark; full of sonic and musical surprises. The creative relationship they have questions the social order of the United States, yet theirs is a quintessentially American Story.

Punk rock and hip hop came from the same place, fueled by identical sentiments: people taking the music back, reclaiming it, and finding a new audience.  Waterson, primed from the mid-70s Punk scene, began his musical career in ’79 as a founding member of Green on Red.  They inspired artists as diverse as My Bloody Valentine, Wilco and Mazzy Star with their records and psychedelic palette.  Years later, Waterson continued his influential journey by opening the revered musical instrument store, Future Music, a Los Angeles staple.  

In ’99, an 18 year-old Younge realized that he wanted to create music that sounded like the records he was sampling.  Unbeknownst to him, he serendipitously wandered into Future Music.  There, he realized his dream was possible.  Intrigued by the stores focus on pre ’83 equipment, Waterson soon became a mentor in developing Younge’s unique analog sound.  They spoke heavily about the importance of vintage equipment and it’s use in creating revolutionary worlds.  

During these years, Waterson schooled Younge on psych and art rock; Younge returned the favor by schooling him on hip-hop, the origins of sampling, and its source music. Together this unlikely duo manifested new revolutionary worlds with Waterson appearing on every Younge album within the last decade.  

Adrian Younge presents Jack Waterson is getting lost in the impressionistic and at times jarring world of psychedelia, questioning what is real and challenging to question the role you play in this world.   These kindred spirits have created a cinematic psych album with no boundaries.  Laced with hip-hop breaks and acid rock, their intention is to subvert the designation of what is black vs. white music.

            Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 day of show.  Doors open at 8:00 pm and showtime is 9:00.