You would be forgiven if Digable Planets hasn’t been front of mind in the past few years. The trio – Ishmael Butler (“Butterfly”), Craig Irving (“Doodlebug”) and Mary Ann Vieira (“Ladybug Mecca”) – made more than a big splash in the early ’90s with their debut album, Reachin’ (A Refutation of Time and Space). The Grammy winning single “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)” was aptly named and ubiquitous, with their slinky bass, jazz samples and subtle vocals offering new and bold hip hop. Their follow-up album, Blowout Comb, delved deeper into social issues, and the result was a critically heralded but underappreciated gem. Then the group split, pursuing independent projects that also pushed boundaries.
Thirty years later, both albums sound as fresh as the day they dropped. Following a reunion tour and live album (Digable Planets Live) in 2017, the group has continued reasserting their pioneering sound on stage. Their performances act as a reminder of their groundbreaking and genre bending sound to those who were there at their explosion, and schooling those who came after their heyday. Thought provoking, groovy beyond measure and inspiring countless others, Digable Planets are here to invite you to dig this along with one of modern jazz music's most audacious futurists, guest Kassa Overall.
Biography by Derek McEwen