Columbia Records

Grand Central: Linda Anderson, André Cymone, Morris Day, Terry Jackson, Prince, and William Doughty.

Prince and André Cymone formed the band Grand Central while still in high school

  In the early 1970s, the Way Community Center, a local recreation center in the heart of Black Minneapolis, hosted…

April 21st, 2016 | | Articles
Sly Stone Small Talk

A collection of art director John Berg’s iconic album covers

Former Columbia Records art director John Berg passed away last week. When we read his obituaries and other blogs that talk…

October 19th, 2015 | | The Album
Patrick Adams at the piano. Photos by Terry Adams.

Disco futurist Patrick Adams found his voice through the synthesizer

  By 1975, disco pioneer Patrick Adams had left his job as a songwriter, arranger, and producer at Perception Records…

May 26th, 2015 | | Articles

André Cymone plays the records that changed his life

  In 2012, writer Ericka Blount Danois searched out André Cymone and secured one of the first interviews from the…

September 18th, 2014 | | Articles

Almost two decades after Illmatic, Nas remains at the top of the list when the conversation turns to MCs, lyricists, and simply who’s the illest

Nas witnessed the conception of hip-hop. He watched it gestate in park jams near Queensbridge, Queens, where guys would plug up their equipment and DJ, or rap, or break-dance…

September 13th, 2013 | | Articles

The Soul of Stax Records

Stax brought undiluted Black culture to the masses.
The reward?
Most were lucky to get away with just the clothes on their back.

September 12th, 2013 | | Articles

Renaissance Man

Lenny Kravitz grew up singing classical music, learned to play multiple instruments like his idol Prince, absorbed the Beatles’ classic studio techniques, and espoused the virtues of vintage equipment before it was called retro. A student of the music who had a sustaining influence on his peers, he fought the stereotypes of the music industry and became a master of his game.

August 28th, 2012 | | Articles
Wax Poetics Issue 46 - George Benson/George Duke

Issue 46

George Benson / George Duke / Billy Cobham / Norman Connors / Tom Browne / Bernard Wright / Don Blackman / Lenny White / Marcus Miller / Weldon Irvine / Phil Cohran

April 25th, 2011 | | Wax Poetics Magazine
Beastie Boys

Licensed to Ill

Today is Frederick Jay “Rick” Rubin’s forty-eighth birthday. Rick was born on March 10, 1963, in Long Beach, New York,…

March 10th, 2011 | | Today in History
The Chamber Brothers

Time Has Come Today

Willie Chambers, guitarist and vocalist for the Chambers Brothers, turns seventy-three today. Made up of brothers Joe, Lester, George, and…

March 3rd, 2011 | | Today in History

D.I.T.C. Crew reflects on their careers and the late, great Big L

  Nearly twelve years after the fatal shooting of Lamont “Big L” Coleman on February 15, 1999, the whole story…

January 7th, 2011 | | Articles
Harry Whitaker

Harry Whitaker

Reprinted from Wax Poetics Issue 3, Fall 2002: “Man, patience is a virtue!” Harry Whitaker is reflecting on the long-awaited…

November 18th, 2010 | | In Memoriam
S. Neil Fujita

S. Neil Fujita

Graphic designer S. Neil Fujita died from complications of a stroke on October 23. He was eighty-nine. Fujita worked at…

October 29th, 2010 | | In Memoriam
Bruce Haack Farad

Bruce Haack: New Compilation Out October 19 on Stones Throw

Juilliard dropout Bruce Haack began making experimental, electronic country-pop for children in the early ’60s. To call him ahead of…

October 7th, 2010 | | New Releases
Photo by Nabil Elberkin

Nas and Damian Marley unite for the album Distant Relatives

It was 1988 when twenty-five year old Queensbridge housing resident Richard Luke choked to death on his own vomit, lying…

May 20th, 2010 | | Articles
The Mackrosoft

The Mackrosoft

As above, so below, wrote magician-philosopher Hermes Trismegistus. It’s the key to all the universe’s mysteries: the macrocosmos is the…

February 12th, 2007 | | Record Rundown
The Electric Flag

The Electric Flag

Buddy Miles, a tightly packed behemoth. The Afro horizon with sequenced stars and stripes immersed in sweat, swagger, and the…

November 1st, 2006 | | Re:Discovery
Chris Hinze

The Chris Hinze Combination

For those who wished fusion had exhaled its final electric breath, the Chris Hinze Combination remained serenely cacophonic, etching out…

June 1st, 2006 | | Re:Discovery
Ramsey Lewis

Ramsey Lewis

Even after abandoning Chess’s Cadet subsidiary and the wildly experimental leanings of its in-house producer/resident musical visionary Charles Stepney (with…

February 1st, 2006 | | Re:Discovery

Out of the Mainstream

Record collectors often complain that jewel-case inserts and flimsy digipack covers lack the feel, smell, and aura of an old,…

January 11th, 2006 | | Articles