JAY DEE spinning as part of Milk with Brassmunk and Felix & Gani at Fez Batik (129 Richmond), Friday (September 27). $15 advance. 416-719-2067.
Hotshot Detroit producer James "Jay Dee" Yancey is at an interesting career juncture. Having apparently left Slum Village, the once-promising hiphop crew he co-founded, and with his jam-juicing work for A Tribe Called Quest, Common, Daft Punk, Macy Gray and D'Angelo now a distant memory, the question is, what's next?
While Jay Dee's Welcome To Detroit (BBE) disc -- which moved past hiphop to touch on jazz-funk and bossa nova grooves -- showed the beatmaker had a broader musical scope than many were aware, it also showed why it's not his microphone skills that are paying the bills. Neither is his McNasty label, judging by Frank N Dank's lame recent Take Dem Clothes Off single.
Yet even if his future as a rapping record label mogul doesn't look promising, he does know what's funky, and his production jobs indicate a surprising familiarity with obscure French sound library recordings and other esoteric delights of the breakbeat kind.
So his Toronto turntable debut spinning his favourite jazz, funk, soul and hiphop should at least be enlightening if not highly entertaining -- especially if he uses the wireless microphone he's requested to treat the crowd to some freestyles.