Steal a Moment with Thiefs, A Jazz Ensemble That Grafts Itself to Hip-Hop, on The Checkout

Mar 27, 2018

What should jazz sound like in 2018? Keith Witty has some ideas. He's the bassist and co-leader of Thiefs, a band that blends hip-hop, electronic music and politically pointed spoken word.

On this Checkout podcast, we dig into the new Thiefs album. Its title, Graft, is a botanical term that can be applied to Witty’s approach to music. What happens if you insert a jazz riff into an electronic beat and hip-hop utterance? The band makes this melding sound and feel admirably organic.

Witty and his co-leader, saxophonist Christophe Panzani, recruited fine musicians for their project, which prominently features Aaron Parks on the piano, David Frazier Jr. on drums and rappers Mike Ladd and Gaël Faye.

The Checkout podcast was just named Best Jazz Podcast of 2017 in the JazzTimes Critics Poll. Subscribe and give us a review of the program on iTunes and Stitcher.

Assistant Producer: Anthony Nieves