I'm still kicking myself for letting Peter Rosenberg's first edition of Noisemakers featuring DJ Premier pass me by. So I certainly wasn't missing last night's installment with ?uestlove. The evening started off with the band Igmar Thomas and The Cypher playing spot on renditions of some of ?uesto's deep production catalog, including many ambitious covers of Soulquarian masterpieces from Common's Like Water For Chocolate and Electric Circus albums and D'angelo's Voodoo. The band played an interlude set that had ?uest impressed, and they ended the night with their medley of Roots' instrumentals. The James Lipton-ish interview segments featured nearly 2 and a half hours of Peter Rosenberg picking (no pun) ?uesto's brain. They discussed his childhood and the early days playing music with his father's group, how The Roots formed, his idol, J Dilla, tales from the "What They Do" video, and more. A majority of these memories ?uesto interpreted via his drum set, making the night that much more entertaining.
The venue was packed and the audience was glued to every word. I personally found Rosenberg's introduction of ?uest very well done. He thoroughly contextualized the Afro's significance in both the Hip-Hop community and within the larger music industry, and noted ?uesto's important role as a leader in the internet age. The interview was perhaps the most candid and in-depth public speaking appearance of ?uestlove's career to date. Get a glimpse of the evening in the above clip where we get a few minutes of ?uesto speaking on the early days of The Roots crew. Hit the jump for photos from Mel D. Cole and a near complete audio recording of the evening from HighVoltage. Shout outs to everyone involved for putting together a very memorable night.
HighVoltage was in house (ya think?) and captured all but the last 30 minutes or so. Download and listen to the two hours of musical tribute and interviews here.
Photos by Mel D. Cole