Miguel Atwood-Ferguson’s legendary J Dilla tribute is headed back to wax.
The 2009 performance was inspired by Carlos Niño and Atwood-Ferguson’s four-track tributary for Stones Throw. However, the response to the project was overwhelming and later expanded to a lush and emotionally charged 16-song set, which made its live debut at Los Angeles’ Luckman Fine Arts Complex as part of Mochilla’s Timeless concert series. The performance gathered the late producer’s friends, family, and fans, to celebrate an uncommon legacy with a 60-piece orchestra playing Atwood-Ferguson’s symphonic interpretations of Dilla’s music. Thundercat and Karriem Riggins were amongst the ensemble’s core non-orchestral members backing a rotating cast of Dilla collaborators, including Bilal, Dwele, Talib Kweli, Common, Miss Jack Davey, De La Soul‘s Posdnuos, and others.
The following year, Suite for Ma Dukes (which has vanished from streamers in recent years,) was released in a DVD box set featuring Mochilla’s tributes to revered Brazilian composer Arthur Verocai and Ethio-jazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke. Each of those performances received highly sought-after one-off vinyl pressings that almost instantly sold out and will easily run you triple digits on Discogs at the moment. But this year, all three performances are getting reissued for Record Store Day. The Suite for Ma Dukes reissue is set for release on July 17th, the second of two “drops” for the 2021 crate-digging holiday. The 2xLP repressing will be housed in a color gatefold and inner-sleeves featuring photos from B+ (one-third of the Mochilla brain trust.) Keep an eye out for it at your local participating record store.
While you’re waiting out the drop, revisit selections from the performance below and head over to Stones Throw for the full oral history of Suite for Ma Dukes.