Rhythm Rave Radio Attends Harold Rapp III and DJ Big Spade’s Concert @ Jazz At Jacks August 1st 2015

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DJ Big Spade and Harold Rapp III

 

As the crowd waiting in line swelled in numbers in front of  Denver’s Jazz At Jacks downtown to hear Harold Rapp III and DJ Big Spade this past Saturday, you could tell by the tone in the air we were in for something special.

Harold Rapp III, Denver’s own renowned saxophonist supreme teamed up the one and only DJ Big Spade aka Dr. Xclusive, is currently making musical waves locally, better know together as The I.Q. (Ill Qhemstry) Experience, and The 5280 got a sonically charged combination of live instrumentation, and the power of two turntables.

The set list took the audience on a journey through the classics of Rhythm and Blues, hip hop, and jazz from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 2000’s and present.

 

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Harold Rapp III 

The duo opened up with a rousing tribute to The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, with ‘Sex Machine’. Harold playfully teases the audience stopping abruptly in the middle of playing coyly saying to DJ Big Spade, ‘Hold on, I think this is what they was looking for…” before playing a few short notes of classic Kenny G. “Ha!” DJ Big Spades retorts soundly. “Well I apologize” Harold says jokingly after stopping playing the jazz licks, “but that’s not going to be one of those shows!” Signaling to DJ Spade, Harold again shifts gears back into the sweaty funk of ‘Sex Machine’ and gives a fiery solo over Spade’s scratches and mixing of the classic track. The audience erupts in approval in response, and then you know…its turn up time. “Make It Funky”, another Brown classic gives the Dynamic Duo more room to flex the musical flow, with Harold giving the original saxophonist of JB, Maceo Parker, a run for his money.

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 DJ Big Spade

“If you don’t mind we’re gonna’ to go into my favorite era of music”, Spade declares over the mic, “It’s kind new school, it’s kinda’ old school, kinda’ live school..we gonna’ take you on a journey a little bit.” Harold smiles before grabbing his horn to join in on the Mary Jane Girls 80’s classic “All Night Long”. “I knew that would get ya’ll up here” Harold quips to the crowd, before launching into a funk fueled version of Candy Rain’ by Soul for Real. Sure enough, the dance floor starts to fill, ladies first, and then the men, taking inventory of the dancing selections, follow close behind to join in.

Taking a time journey leap back, The I.Q. visits the classic Frankie Beverly and Maze cut “Before I Let You Go” to the delight of the audience, giving more reason to dancers to keep the momentum going to masterful musical mash-up onstage.

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No favorite song was safe, from Mary J Blige’s ‘Sweet Thing” to Anita Baker’s ‘Sweet Love’, (which was exceptionally performed) and the night was made right thanks to the  lively exchange between those in attendance and the artists on stage. TLC’s ‘Creep’ was definitely a fan favorite, and added with the gentlemen taking time to recognize birthday salutations to those who shared their Birthday on the event, the experience was the most accommodating.

 

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 Harold worked the crowd, occasionally giving one on one solos to a lucky fan in the audience, taunting the participant with clever intertwining notes to punctuate his feelings in the music he accompanies.  The interesting thing about hearing the two artists work together is that the almost move as one instrument, almost reading what the other’s cues are automatically without verbal coaching onstage. “Sometimes Harold can tell me what to play and not to play next just by playing just one note aggressively” laughs DJ Big Spade, sharing his musical bond with the talented saxophonist to the audience.

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 By the end of the two-hour event, the audience was clearly still having a good time, dancing in unison to Harold Rapp III and DJ Big Spade’s musical alchemy. We can say that this was truly an engaging and uplifting experience, watching the blending of two instrumental styles inject a breath of fresh air, comparatively to many other live acts today.

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Harold Rapp’s website 

DJ Big Spade’s Website

Check out the video below: